BBC BLOGS - Gavin Hewitt's Europe
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Stop cooking the books

Gavin Hewitt | 12:29 UK time, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Chancellor Merkel addressing Bundestag, 25 Mar 10It is a tradition before a European summit that the German chancellor briefs the Bundestag before heading for the talks. Today Angela Merkel's words were pored over by European officials more than usual. The EU is facing its severest crisis for at least a decade and Germany is at the heart of it.

A former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, said yesterday, "incredibly, the public statements of some EU leaders have fuelled more anti-European sentiment in four days than all the Eurosceptics have achieved together in four years."

The pressure on Germany is to ride to the aid of Greece in a gesture of European solidarity. Germany is signalling that it will defend its interests.

Angela Merkel laid it on the line today: "cooking the books must be stopped," she said. There is no alternative to solid finances, she lectured the EU. "There can be no tricks," she said to applause. "All member states must go that way." She went on to remind her critics outside Germany that "the German people gave up a stable currency. Their trust can't be deceived."

What the German chancellor seems to be after is a new set of rules to govern the eurozone that will be enforced with much tougher sanctions. She said today that she would push for treaty changes. That is an indication of how serious she is. After eight years scrapping over the Lisbon Treaty there is no appetite for a new round of haggling over rules. Mrs Merkel knows that as well as anyone, but she believes the current system is not working and it has to be changed for the stability of the currency.

She took on her critics, who have been appealing to her to demonstrate she is a committed European. "A good European," she said, "is not one who takes spur of the moment decisions, but one who looks for long-term stability."

However, she did spell out in what circumstances Greece might be helped. If the stability of the eurozone was threatened and a state exhausted its ability to borrow then she conceded "we must act". But it would be as a last resort. In those circumstances she envisages bilateral loans from eurozone members combining with aid from the IMF. So that is the German position. They want the IMF involved plus bilateral loans from Europe.

The IMF involvement will be contentious. Only today officials were saying that calling on the IMF would "damage the single currency". The answer might lie in where the majority of the funds came from, the eurozone or the IMF?

Mrs Merkel pledged to work closely with France, but there are now deep rifts between the eurozone's key players.

What seems to be emerging is that Germany wants to use the crisis with Greece to bend the eurozone more to its own image, to ensure that, in future, it is a club that plays by the rules. Some are suggesting that Germany wants the club to play by its rules.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:03pm on 25 Mar 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    "Germany is signalling that it will defend its interests"

    Fair enough. Can't blame them. EU countries defending their interests and angering their neighbors is nothing new. Until the EU elites figure out a way to once and for all slay the nation-state this sort of 'solidarity retrenchment' will naturally rear its head from time to time. Give 'em hell Germany!

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:17pm on 25 Mar 2010, jobsagoodin wrote:

    'What the German chancellor seems to be after is a new set of rules'

    What's the pont of new rules when none of the existing rules are enforced.

    'that will be enforced with much tougher sanctions'

    What's the point of tougher sanctions if none of the existing sanctions are ever imposed ?

    'but she believes the current system is not working and it has to be changed for the stability of the currency'

    It's not working because it's unworkable, which is why everyone breaks the rules, which is why they aren't enforced, which takes us full circle.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 1:29pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Angela Merkel laid it on the line today: "cooking the books must be stopped," she said. There is no alternative to solid finances, she lectured the EU. "There can be no tricks," "

    No tricks? Without tricks there wouldn't be a Euro. There wouldn't even be an EU. The population of the UK voted for a free trade zone and was tricked into joining a superstate instead. The decision not to join the Euro and give up the pound was may be British Bankers whose pronouncements came from the top down, not by a public vote from the bottom up. That's how Europe works, from the top down. That's how it always worked in the past and probably always will. That is why it is not a democracy, that is why it is always doomed to fail. Central planning doesn't work.

    Nobody in power seemed to care when accountants couldn't even certify the EU's own books for over a decade, let alone the books of its memeber goernments? Where is the audit trail? Even with all of the lies and "tricks" Germany and France couldn't live within the Growth and Stability Pact they had insisted on to help prevent exactly what the EU is going through now. And so they used the "trick" of "persuading" the EU court that the pact was obsolete and should be summarily thrown out. Mendacity, hypocricy, and corruption lead to catastrophe. The EU Constitution was a trick. The only reason it didn't work was that the governments of France and Holland never imagined their own populations would turn down such a fine deal to advance the "EU Project." And so the trick of Lisbon was invented. Too bad it took Ireland two tries to learn what France and Holland already had found out and Britain knew instinctively all along, never give the people a say in their own destiny, you never know when their plans for themselves might contradict the wisdom of the elites who run Europe.

    Britain is creating its own Space Agency. I think that is a good idea. They should launch a joint venture with the European Space Agency to explore the universe to find the planet Money. However, I think when they get there, they will discover that China has previously arrived, planted it flag on that place, and owns all of the best mines already. The USA doesn't need NASA to find the planet Money. Not when it has the United States Mint.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 1:30pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    ' ...

    A former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, said yesterday, "incredibly, the public statements of some EU leaders have fuelled more anti-European sentiment in four days than all the Eurosceptics have achieved together in four years." ...'

    EUpris: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 1:47pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A fraternal club I'l call the Europians has been sitting at a bar drinking all day and all night running up a huge tab. The time arrives for one member I'll call Greco to leave and pay up and suddenly they discover that he doesn't have any money. In fact only one member Gerry has any money left at all because the others had also previously drank theirs up at bars all over town and the other members want Gerry to pick up the tab for all of them. Gerry says wait a minute, why should I pay for this guy Greco and all the rest of you deadbeats? I never agreed to that. Besides, there's a rich guy named Sam coming down the street soon, lets go out and panhandle him and get him to pay for at least some of it. And another guy Frank tells them he doesn't like this particular Sam person who doesn't party to nearly the same degree and always lectures them on their evil ways about throwing their money around. Frank's pride and ego are too bruised by being proven wrong to beg Sam and so he wants nobody else to either. Frank just wants them all to chip in, especially Gerry, the only member with money. (Frank owns the bar and will be stuck with Greco's unpaid tab if it isn't paid.) What a club. One for all, all for one, and every deadbeat for himself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:49pm on 25 Mar 2010, rg wrote:

    GH "...What seems to be emerging is that Germany wants to use the crisis with Greece to bend the eurozone more to its own image…"

    The German leadership aren't keen to be seen by their electorate as being pleased to flush their taxpayers' hard earned cash down a Mediterranean toilet. They'll come round.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:52pm on 25 Mar 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The real issue is can the European community also apply the "no cooking of the books" to the banks and financial services industry. The coin has two sides and dealing with one without the other is counterproductive. No objection to harsh punishments for both that violate the rules. It is interesting how the governments present themselves as somehow different than the taxpayers who support all of this. Maybe some language about the protection of the interests of the people, even if untrue, would smooth the public opinion. The problem is that governments have had a great imbalance between the interest of the people and the interest of big business and banking and the current situation is a result of that imbalance. Germany, like all the other countries, did nothing when the bankers and investment firms were out of control.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 2:03pm on 25 Mar 2010, EuroSider wrote:

    The German Chancellor is continuing to make her point-of-view known amongst the other EU member states. She is clearly under pressure from her own people in Germany and getting very little support from within the EU. The German people are proud of their stable economy and do not want that position undermined by other, less disciplined countries.

    There is a lot of 'panic' talk from within the EU. Will germany support a bail-out of Greece; will Germany continue to support EU proposals and more importantly will Germany insist that other member states follow the rules and disciplines that come from being a member of the European Union.

    I fear that Chancellor Merkel's direct lead in this situation will only result in more bland, and pointless statements from the EU Finance Ministers; a lack of leadership from within the EU and a weakening of the Euro on the international markets. The EU minsters do not want Germany making their decisions for them; neither do they want to make their own decisions but they DO want this whole mess to go away so they can discuss the 'length of bananas' or the number of 'wind-farms in Latvia'. The type of topics that the EU leaders were employed to discuss. This problem is well out of the comfort zone.

    It is time now that the EU took a long hard look at itself and decided where it stood, and what it stands for within a globally expanding society.

    The EU proposes to be a modern state benefitting all the European member countries.

    What it is looking like now is an inward, self-obsessed clique where the head-girl is running the school. They give the impression that they are stuck in a post-war; cold-war; 1950's mentallity which brought about peace in Europe after the second World War. A club that has barely moved on from the days of Winston Chruchill, the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall.

    Now, they need to show that they are a modern, forward-looking state that can take its place in the global market.

    Otherwise the EU and the Euro will simply become an irrelevance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 2:04pm on 25 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    NEWSFLASH:

    French President Sarkozy remarked, "..Germany hasn't changed at all!"

    The Brussels-EU-Commission spokesperson today said, "I'm sorry Commission President Barroso is awaiting instructions from Berlin."

    The EU Parliament President addressing 760+ MEPs said, "Berlin estimates it will only take 4 years to put this right. Parliament must pass this Enabling Law so everything will be okay."

    Summoned to a special emergency meeting the EU Court of Justice Justices provided the following statement, "Transition of certain authorities & powers directly from Brussels to Berlin is not of itself an indicator of transgression of Basic Law: For so long as the rule of law is upheld the ECJ can see no cause to intervene in this democratic process."

    Though troubled, EU-philes feeling deep loyalty to the EU dream of greater & ever closer union were gathering around their internet services & bolstering each other with such hearty comments as, "This is just a temporary measure," and, "... we are sure the Leader knows best," whilst the really ardent supporters have been openly declaring, "..power to Berlin is long expected and is the only way forward... those who disagree are traitors and enemies of the Union!"

    Across EUrope many vulnerable Citizens already identified (PIIGS!) as being from certain less acceptable quarters of the Union were reportedly heard to be dubiously saying 1 of 2 things:
    Geographic pessimists, "I'm out of here on the first available flight," and, Historic optimists, "If we just keep our heads down maybe this will all blow over."

    You know, I get the eeriest feeling I've heard this before!?

    No, I'm just imagining things, aren't I?

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 2:10pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The real run on the Euro has not begun yet. Just a little chipping away at the edges. Now might be a good time to think about shorting it. The stampede for the exit might come at any time, maybe in about a month. When it does, I expect the markets to move far and quickly. Inevitably, there will be temporary reversals just like there are in any collapse. Among the first will be the result of the ECB trying to stabalize the market selling dollars and yen to buy Euros. That will not work for long. It won't be long before the ECB's foreign currency reserves are exhausted. The markets are far larger than governments and relentless when they see an opportunity, in this case to escape a burning building as the roof caves in. Will the US and other central banks also buy Euros....or sell the ones they already hold? If I were a central banker in a non European country like Japan, I'd sell.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 2:11pm on 25 Mar 2010, Dempster wrote:

    The question I ask myself is:
    Is Greece already caught up in a compound debt spiral?

    If it is, then it’s just a question of when it defaults, who is going to stand the loss.
    If it isn’t then there is no reason why the Euro members shouldn't lend it some money.

    The reluctance of Germany, suggest it believes that the capital it may lend to Greece is at significant risk.

    Hence ultimately default looks more likley.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 2:19pm on 25 Mar 2010, constantin lycas wrote:

    I wonder what Mrs Merkel would have said when her country was seeking Europe's solidarity to help them with the billions'cost of the 1990s runnification......
    Gosh, I forgot! At the time she was just a pennyless East German housewife...

    How the times change!

    Constantin

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 2:26pm on 25 Mar 2010, nunespt wrote:

    "incredibly, the public statements of some EU leaders have fuelled more anti-European sentiment in four days than all the Eurosceptics have achieved together in four years."

    So true. What is happening shows that abdicating of own's sovereignty for a common purpose is not worth it for smaller EU countries like Greece or Portugal. You can change eurozone rules, and put into force stricter ones, but you can't change the thinking of people in the streets. And the people in the streets of countries like Portugal already dream about another Carnation Revolution.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 2:36pm on 25 Mar 2010, damnut wrote:

    Why is anyone surprised at Germany rattling its cage?. The history of Germany within Europe is that of a bully, perfectly happy to be a member of the party but when decisons go against them want to opt out.

    Here we have the classic of a poorer nation, part of the Eurozone, a Eurozone solution and suddenly Germany does not want to be part of it. Germany has accused the UK of looking after its own interests within Europe. Shame on you now Germany.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 2:41pm on 25 Mar 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    Another day, another blog article headed by a photograph of Angela Merkel. Is this some sort of obsession by the BBC pictures editor? Or is it the BBC reacting to criticisms that it under-represents over-50's women?

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:47pm on 25 Mar 2010, EuroSider wrote:

    #4
    I've met Guy Verhofstadt on a number of social occasions around Brussels. We keep bumping into each other (literally on occasions. I remember an Irish theme bar in Brussels on the day the Irish voted 'Yes' to the Lisbon Treat; a pint of Guiness; Guy Verhofstadt; and an over-eager reporter - but that is another story).

    However, as an ex-Belgian Prime Minister Guy is known to speak his mind (he also speaks very good English). So I appreciated his comments.

    Guy is no fool about the EU. He wants to see it work as much as anyone - but there is a limit to even his patience!

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:48pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Speaking about cooking the books, the use of GDP as a measure of a country's wealth is a false statistic. GNI is the gross national income, the money the country actually gets to keep. GDP is the gross national product, the monetary value of goods and services that is produced within a nation's borders. The difference is that to get from GDP to GNI you have to subtract production from foreign investments in a country that are expatriated and add production from foreign investments that country has elsewhere that are repatriated. For most countries it is less than 100% For the US and Briatin it's about 83%. For China it's only 17%. Here's a chart;

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gro_nat_inc_pergdp-gross-national-income-per-gdp

    You can take the figures given here;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8586465.stm

    and divide by the percentage GNI/GDP to get a truer picture of deficit and debt versus income for each country. For the UK and Germany it's a little worse. For Greece, Spain, Ireland and Italy it's a lot worse than it first appears, close to double.

    I don't know whether this is a Greek tragedy or a Greek comedy. It's certainly a lot more entertaining that hearing the latest row over the US health insurance legislation. The cliff is ahead but there appears to be a slow yet inevitable slice towards it before you get to the precipice. After you go over it, the gradual move downwards will become a sudden plunge IMO. A long slow skid into a head on collision with a brick wall.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:51pm on 25 Mar 2010, nunespt wrote:

    She went on to remind her critics outside Germany that "the German people gave up a stable currency. Their trust can't be deceived."

    True. But, Ms Merkel and the Germans seem to be forgetting that all other eurozone countries have gave up of their own national interests as well. The trust of other eurozone countries citizens can't also be deceived. So, please lets be less cynical. You can't push to sell submarines or high-speed trains to a country, and tell them that the trust of the German people can't be deceived. If EU wants to be a superstate, than act like one. Solidarity. That's the word lacking in the EU dictionary.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 3:01pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    If Germany doesn't want to foot the bill alone, now might be a good time to invite Turkey to join the EU and the Euro. Set principles of European racism aside and let them buy their way in.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 3:16pm on 25 Mar 2010, constantin lycas wrote:

    I wonder what Mrs Merkel would have said to Herr Kohl when he was looking for European solidarity to face the billions needed for Germany's reunification back in the 90s....And he got them!
    Gosh! I forgot....at the time Mrs Merkel was a poor East German house wife...
    Constantin

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 3:25pm on 25 Mar 2010, Pip wrote:

    Brussels' digs at Merkel show that they clearly have not grasped the reality of the situation. They allowed eurozone members to break the rules and now Germany intends to make Europe pay for the mistake of prizing solidarity over stability.

    www.governing-principles.com

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 3:25pm on 25 Mar 2010, EuroSider wrote:

    #14 damnut

    I think you are missing the point when you critise Germany.

    The Germans struggled to rebuild their country after WWII. Whatever your thoughts about WWII, the Germans did try to become Europeans and put the past behind them. The DM was one of the best currencies in Europe, which they gave up to join the Euro and play a full part in a stable, peaceful Europe.

    Having made the effort, you cannot now blame the Germans for wanting to preserve their country; discpline and fiscal control.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 3:26pm on 25 Mar 2010, dutchdavey wrote:

    She's absolutely right though. We are also fed up here in Holland with the idea of having to cough up because the Greeks can't get it together. (I understand the pension age in Greece is 61, while the government here is busy trying to put it up to 67).

    The Euro is good, the Euro is great. Even if it needs major surgery it will survive, but let's DO IT THEN!

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 3:26pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    You can tell what kind of people are really in an organization when they face a crisis. Do they pull together, hang tough, figure out a plan they can agree on and then work together to make it happen? Or do they point fingers, shout accusations, threaten to throw others out or walk out themselves. When the going gets tough...the Europeans fold like a cheap tent. What a union. What a place. With no slave empires to soak, no American sugardaddy to protect them and keep them well off, they have nothing except mountains of debt. How good will Germany's export figures look when there are no other EU buyers because they can't afford their products? When they can't get away with their companies paying bribes to steer contracts away from competitors?

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 3:46pm on 25 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Merkel says: ""There can be no tricks"

    The EU can only 'solve' the problem by trickery (i.e., fudges and bending the rules).

    It will be interesting to see who prevails.

    Meanwhile it is encouraging to see EUrophiles turning on each other.

    C'mon already, let's get shot of Greece and start away at the financial credibility and stability of the other PIIGS....

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 4:01pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    EuroSider

    "Guy is no fool about the EU. He wants to see it work as much as anyone"

    Oh really? How does he expect all those nations and cultures to get along with each other when Walloons and Flemish can't even get along with each other within Belgium?

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 4:02pm on 25 Mar 2010, jobsagoodin wrote:

    Eurosider 16

    'However, as an ex-Belgian Prime Minister Guy is known to speak his mind'

    He doesn't have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low grade bank clerk by any chance ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 4:18pm on 25 Mar 2010, AqualungCumbria wrote:

    Does no one find it odd that the saviour of the planets economic system isnt mentioned anywhere in these statements. Surely Gordon Browns superior grasp of monetary systems and forward thinking fiscal policy should be brought in at a time of crisis....
    Or is it , that they have seen through his bluster and dont want him embarrassingly messing this up as well.
    Oh and as for where the funds will come from i can see another wad of debt being heaped on the UK tax payers,who already thanks to our Government have raised our EU contribution way above what should be necessary.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 4:21pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The Europeans sold out America on Iraq, they are selling out on Afghanistan and Iran. So why should anyone be surprised that they are selling out each other? Betrayal seems to be their culture. When push comes to shove each one is for itself alone and the rest be damned. They show no tenacity to principle or loyalty to anyone including those who have done them immesurable favors in the past. They will make sacrifices for no one else. All they think about is what's in it for themselves today. Trust in any of them is badly misplaced, their friendship is worthless. Their union a sham and a tissue of lies.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 4:23pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The US stock market continues to go up and has risen about a thousand points in the last few weeks. If this continues, it will only accelerate the flight from the Euro.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 4:51pm on 25 Mar 2010, Dan Allen wrote:

    Hypocrisy knows no end.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61L3EB20100222

    Read on:

    Bankers noted, however, that Germany is no stranger to off-balance sheet vehicles. KfW, the German state-guaranteed development bank borrowed 50 billion euros last year, a sum that does not appear on the state's budget.

    "The reality is that it's not about a single deal. It's not about whether what was done was right or against the spirit of the regulations or not," noted a former public sector banker. "It's the whole accounting standard you have to look at."

    Another anomaly in the accounting for states' liabilities and assets was how options are treated. States writing an option can book premium as cash but the liability is not accounted until the option is exercised, a banker said.

    SHIFTING LIABILITIES

    It is not just derivatives. European sovereigns' game of shifting liabilities off their balance sheets once provided fruitful ground for the now tarnished securitization sector.

    Italy kicked of the craze 10 years ago by selling a 4.5 billion euro securitization backed by unpaid social security payments at the Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale (INPS).

    Then in May 2005 Germany joined in, selling 8 billion euros of civil service pension rights backed by payments from former state-owned companies Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE) and Deutsche Postbank (DPBGn.DE).

    Eurostat did not allow the German securitization count as part of state borrowings, a stance which has seen the flow of deals grind to a halt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 5:00pm on 25 Mar 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    I have never seen anything get more blown out of all proportion in my life.

    Greece's contributions to the overall EU economy are tiny.
    Greece has implemented austerity measures.
    The EU has agreed to provide bilateral loans if needed.
    The IMF can be brought in if need be.
    Treaty changes will be made to prevent this happening again.
    An EMF will be set up given time, and possibly more fiscal union.

    Seriously, it looks pretty much sorted from where I'm stood.

    One good thing, I notice how the Eurosceptics have shut up about a super state, its as we all told you all along, the EU is 27 nations in loose volountary Union, not one country. Lisbon didn't change that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 5:08pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Merckel to Greece; "Your end of the boat is leaking badly. Bail faster!"

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 5:23pm on 25 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Hey!

    It's done!

    A double-accounting, duplicitous, under-the-table, cobbling together of every unverifiable Fiscal anomaly has been agreed: Germany & France are about to 'save' Greece and the EUro-zone to the sum of 23 billion!

    For Germany & France read in reality the totally, utterly, completely unconsulted EUropean Citizen Tax-payers inc. those not in the EUro-zone plus other millions of equally unrepresented Citizens whose Nations contribute to the IMF.

    Crisis! What crisis?

    EU Democracy! What EU Democracy?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 5:33pm on 25 Mar 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    marcus clownicus @All. Glass houses ring a bell? (not the Billy Joel album)

    As a fellow Yank, if you want to talk about waste, corruption and hypocrisy look no further than Washington DC. (Or your local city council.) When were the DoD books last signed off by auditors? Yeah, that's what I thought. That fraud runs into hundreds of billions. And the Kabuki theater that Congress and the Pentagon stage when attempting to pretend to take the matter seriously would be laughable were the issue not so serious.

    Re Iraq, the only one doing any selling was the US and it was a load of bull. The Europeans were right to tell the US to get lost.

    I realize you get your jollies attacking anything and everything European, but I must say you really do sound like a broken record.

    And after having read enough of your posts, on an IQ test I suspect you’d be about average. On a sociopath test, I’d reckon you’d be off the charts. Hang in there.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 5:38pm on 25 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII @#33

    Greece to Merkel; "You have all the buckets! Can you spare some?"

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 5:44pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    So Euroland dodged the bullet this time;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8587847.stm

    Or did it? We'll see. Funny how headlines and first reports often turn out to misrepresent the truth. How will Greece pay it back and what about next time, and the other PIIGS, and the UK, and Eastern Europe? It's interesting that not only do many large corporations have assets far in excess of 23 billion but even some private individuals like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have more. Hey, maybe they should have been offered memberships in the EU. The first individual persons to each become a country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 5:49pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Discust_ed;

    Yanks don't use words like "jollies." That's a British word, not American usage. I suspect at most you have dual citizenship. I don't consider anyone who has not renounced allegience to all other nations as we used to require to take the oath to become American citizens full fledged citizens of the US. Real Americans are loyal only to their own country, the United States of America.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 6:18pm on 25 Mar 2010, christos diamantopoulos wrote:

    FIRST EUROPE HELPED GERMANY TO RE-UNITE, THEN GERMANY USED EURO AND EU TO CREATE A TRADE SURPLUS, NOW SHE DOESNT WANT TO HELP EU ANYMORE...I AGREE THAT MOST OF THE COUNTRIES HAVE DEFICITS AND RULES HAVE TO CHANGE HOWEVER GERMANY WITHOUT THE EU WONT BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE CRISIS. A REMINDER FOR SOME PEOPLE..GERMANY'S DEFICIT IS ALREADY 6% AND SHE NEEDS BOTH HER EUROPEAN CLIENTS TO KEEP ON SELLING PLUS AND A CHEAPER EURO TOO TO KEEP THE REST OF THE WORLD BUYING

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 6:18pm on 25 Mar 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    re38 Homer Simpson

    Well that's showed his hand - so now we know: "Down with the world, long live the US of A". Reminds me of A Hitler declaring the superiority of the Aryan people over all others. Maybe Homer would like to zap the rest of us into oblivion. We've heard it all before.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 6:22pm on 25 Mar 2010, Manneken wrote:

    Aah,

    The usual dribble from the euro-haters. Follow the time line:

    1. It can't work.
    2. It won't work.
    3. It can't succeed.
    4. It won't succeed.
    5. It can't continue.
    6. It won't continue.
    7. It'll break soon.
    8. It'll break some day.
    (repeat ad nausea on any EU issue)

    Throw in some revisionism, and have a go at the EU, the most successful project in human history in terms of bringing peace and prosperity. (No, MAII, the US is not an example in these terms, far from it).

    The Greek "problem" will go away, because the Greeks have understood they have to take the Irish medicine. Pulling a face and crying on the IMF's shoulders, that's OK.

    Germany paid during ten years for re-unification and a high entry rate into the Euro. No others paid as much. It seems OK that they say "no" to a further free ride.

    On the other hand, as federalism goes, the bicycle has to keep moving, so this crisis will be used to give more powers to the federal center. The real question, as always, is whether the big players will accept that their own medicine is used on them. The answer is probably: in lower doses.

    Anybody who thinks the Germans or the French would be willing to pay the enormous price of political failure (break-up of the Euro) doesn't understand the first thing about politics, or the European political project.

    When used properly, this crisis will strengthen the Euro, and the European federal project ("ever closer union" - remember?).

    You will also see Herman Van Rompuy's position strengthened. Watch out for him - they've got a silent Delors on their hands.






    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 6:35pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    ' She went on to remind her critics outside Germany that "the German people gave up a stable currency. Their trust can't be deceived." '

    The British people were promised a referendum. So their trust can be deceived, can it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 6:38pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    " ... She said today that she would push for treaty changes. ..."

    Remember how the Lisbon treaty "couldn't be changed."

    So when it suits her, treaties can be changed. When it is democratic to do so, they cannot be changed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 6:44pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    15. At 2:41pm on 25 Mar 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    "Another day, another blog article headed by a photograph of Angela Merkel. Is this some sort of obsession by the BBC pictures editor? Or is it the BBC reacting to criticisms that it under-represents over-50's women? "

    She was telling people how tall Sarkozy is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 6:44pm on 25 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    "FIRST EUROPE HELPED GERMANY TO RE-UNITE"

    Europe did not help Germany re-unite. Helmut Kohl had to use all his political skill and diplomacy to make it happen against the oppisition of Thatcher and Mitterand. The only two people on his side were Bush and Gorbatchev and they were not E.U. leaders.

    The trade surplus was created in the German market through German production. Germany never forced other E.U. members or the United states to stop producing things.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 6:46pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    14. At 2:36pm on 25 Mar 2010, damnut wrote:

    " ...

    Germany has accused the UK of looking after its own interests within Europe ..."

    Please could you tell us where you got that from?

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 6:48pm on 25 Mar 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    This sums up the EU exactly, an amalgam of members all fighting to serve their own interest at the expense of others and all untrustworthy and unreliable. We here in Britain should perhaps be thankful that we do not have to rely on the people on the other side of the channel, indeed, we are lucky to have twenty some miles of water as a barrier. The inhabitants of mainland Europe have changed little in the past sixty years and should maybe be left to their own devices.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 7:06pm on 25 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    A surprising information:
    According to press reports this evening state leaders from Switzerland and Sweden has said prior to the summit today that they are prepared to assist financially in order to support the Euro.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 7:12pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 50. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2010, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Of all the deranged, demented commentary I've read over the years in the news media, across the entire range of controversial subjects reported on this decade, I've never seen such desperate wishful thinking as the EU-haters propagate on this board, with spittle flying from their mouths, and foam collecting in the corners of their lips. Everything supports their fantastical view that the EU is doomed, probably condemned to burn in hellfire for all eternity, if they could evoke the curses of the gods. Someone walking down the street in Paris can't stop to retie his shoelaces without them pointing at him and screaming, 'You see!? You see!!!??? The EU will suffer the torments of the damned!!!!! It's inescapable!!!!! Look!!!!! He's tying his shoelaces!!!!! The proof is right before your eyes!!!!! Why can't you see what's so obvious!!!!!'
    And so on.

    Of all the garden-variety, lunatic-fringe kooks in the world, surely the EU-deniers are the most peculiar and amusing. The people who worship UFOs and Atlantis are rational, levelheaded, and reasonable in comparison to the EU-skeptics. A sensible person is forced to speculate on whether they've all caught the same genetically engineered bioweapon, or were all born with the same genetic mutation affecting the brain. They so desperately want to believe that the EU will inexorably fail, it's pitiful to watch them make fools of themselves, over and over and over again, without ever learning anything, no matter how many times they turn out to be wrong.

    Practical people can only pity them, and offer them the compassion of medical help. After all, the EU clearly doesn't need them, and neither does anyone else in the rest of the world. They don't have anything to contribute; all they can do is hepelessly, helplessly rant and rage against the blatant success of that which they abhore and loath. Poor things, they only deserve our sympathy and mercy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 8:04pm on 25 Mar 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    49 Homer Simpson says:

    "Only one problem wrong with that theory Peggy, Americans are made up of people and descendants of every race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, in the world. Race has nothing to do with America's superiority over all other nations. Try again"

    You are quite right there Homer. As they say in dog breeding circles, mongrels are often far superior to mere thoroughbreds

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 8:46pm on 25 Mar 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    Marcus is blatantly a French person in disguise, the ridiculously over the top pompous arrogance gives him away j/k.

    Either that, or he picked up more bad habits from his stay in Europe than he cares to admit. Marcus dear chum, I fear we may have contaminated you.... ;-D .

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 8:49pm on 25 Mar 2010, Manneken wrote:

    50 PaganBarbarian

    Spot on!

    The interesting thing is the fringe whingers never seem to
    a) respect facts
    b) learn from experience

    but just go on with their maniac-like obsession. While I think your empathy is nice enough, the problem is that their approach spoils the interest of the forum for other people (who want to comment on the actual issue raised by the article), which I presume is why others just give up , and leave the forum to the repeat offenders.

    I presume they either have a political agenda, or just too much time on their hands.

    There really are two ways of replying. First, setting out why the EU has good or reasonable points, or how it could be made better (but that may be just following their setting the agenda), or sticking to the issue raised by the article.

    My suggestion is to take the second option, and ignore the rantings of the likes of MAII and EUpris.

    Speaking of which, I do think the Greek crisis may have a positive outcome, in that Germany and France may finally agree on economic government, the structural weak side of the Euro.



    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 8:50pm on 25 Mar 2010, Deadlylampshade wrote:

    #50

    You say of EU sceptics "They don't have anything to contribute"A superbly crafted and intellectual post I must say. You certainly set a fine example of bringing something special to make us stop think about our scepticism and abandon it in favour of your wisdom (and if you detect sarcasm then well done).

    You may think that the EU is a wonderful institution that is your prerogative and I respect your right.All I ask, as an opponent to the EU as it is, is the right to have my views.

    On to the subject matter, there is a deal that has been worked out. Whether it works remains to be seen. As I have said before I hope that the ordinary folk of Greece do not suffer unduly whilst their country rebuilds. Similarly I hope that the citizens of the other Eurozone countries who will be paying for incompetence of others do not suffer too much either. Sadly, however, I think that there is a lot of financial pain. I never thought that a deal would not be worked out however.The EU always finds a work around at any cost and billions are wasted to that end-which is one of my many objections to the EU as it stands.Of course the next round of "bail-out but lets not call it that" routines could occur with some of the other countries with similar problems. And yes, I fully understand that we in the UK have dire problems to contend with so I am not gloating (before I get accused of that).
    You can see why the EU never ask the citizens what they want- God forbid that we get a say. Pity we can't all pull the plug on the political elitists of the EU. "No Say, No Pay".

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 8:53pm on 25 Mar 2010, DiscoStu_d wrote:

    Marcus @38. I wish I had dual citizenship. My beloved mother is Austrian (whose father was in the Wehrmacht in WWII). My Dad's a West Point grad and a decorated Viet Nam vet. I am plenty american but do not need to prove anything. I am global. That is how we all should be. :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 9:03pm on 25 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    MAII, in post #37 you wrote "...So Euroland dodged the bullet this time..."

    It's Europe: there'll be another bullet along in a minute. Arguably, "surviving a succession of dodged bullets" is the EU mission statement: there is no plan, remember? They really are making it up as they go along...:-)

    Regards, viewcode

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 9:04pm on 25 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    Mathiesen, in post #37 you wrote "...According to press reports this evening state leaders from Switzerland and Sweden has said prior to the summit today that they are prepared to assist financially in order to support the Euro..."

    Of course, if my state broadcaster bothered to cover nations other than France, Germany & Greece during this kerfuffle, I'd've known that already without you having to tell me. Curiously enough, I'd actually *like* to know what's going on in the other Eurozone states (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain). Since the BBC can't be bothered, thank you for the information...

    ...although, hold on a minute. Sweden isn't adopting the Euro, and Switzerland isn't in the EU full stop. Why are they contributing funds? What's occuring?

    Regards, viewcode

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 9:06pm on 25 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    AqualungCumbria, in post #28, you wrote "...Does no one find it odd that the saviour of the planets economic system isnt mentioned anywhere in these statements. Surely Gordon Browns superior grasp of monetary systems and forward thinking fiscal policy should be brought in at a time of crisis....Or is it , that they have seen through his bluster and dont want him embarrassingly messing this up as well...Oh and as for where the funds will come from i can see another wad of debt being heaped on the UK tax payers,who already thanks to our Government have raised our EU contribution way above what should be necessary....."

    AqualungCumbria, the UK is the fourth biggest contributor to the IMF. The more money the Eurozone member states put into a bailout, the less money the UK taxpayers have to put into the IMF to achieve the same bailout. Please try to understand that the European Union (27 member states) is not the same as the Eurozone (16 member states). The UK is in the former but not in the latter.

    Regards, viewcode

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 9:11pm on 25 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    MaxSceptic, (welcome back, btw) in post #25, you wrote "...The EU can only 'solve' the problem by trickery (i.e., fudges and bending the rules)...It will be interesting to see who prevails...Meanwhile it is encouraging to see EUrophiles turning on each other....C'mon already, let's get shot of Greece and start away at the financial credibility and stability of the other PIIGS...."

    I understand the Eurofederalist point of view (that the peoples of the European Union would be best served by a federal Eurostate). I understand the British Eurosceptic point of view (that the peoples of the United Kingdom would be best served by the UK leaving the EU). Both points have their advocates, are logically coherent, and may actually be true.

    Fine.

    But the point of view that says "The EU is rubbish but, instead of leaving it, we're going to destroy it whilst still within it" is insane: it's a lose-lose situation. Even worse, the extension of this point of view formulated by you above ("The EU is rubbish but, instead of leaving it, we're going to destroy its member states whilst still within the EU just for funsies") is past insane and currently occupying its own pocket universe made up of special antisanity particles. The citizens of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland have done nothing to hurt you. Any malfeasance performed by their governments have hurt only them, not you. There is an argument that they should be left to suffer the consequences of their own governments' (in)actions - it's not one I agree with, but I get the logic. There is no argument that they should be hurt further just for fun'n'giggles.

    Oh, and if lobbing 23billion euro at the problem constitutes "...EUrophiles turning on each other...", I'd hate to see what your definition of a big wet smooch is.

    Regards, viewcode

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 9:14pm on 25 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII in post #25, you wrote "...Oh really? How does he (Guy Verhofstadt) expect all those nations and cultures to get along with each other when Walloons and Flemish can't even get along with each other within Belgium?..."

    You make an important point here, albeit tangentially.

    Belgium (a compound state made up of substates with different languages that don't like each other really) is in the EU. Its politics are a constant dreary bureaucratic succession of nagging comments and the possibility that one day it might split into smaller bits with nobody getting hurt much whilst banging on about bendy bananas.

    Compare to Yugoslavia (a compound state made up of substates with different languages that didn't like each other really) which wasn't in the EU. Its politics were a constant dreary militaristic succession of attempted genocides and the certainty that one day it did split into smaller bits with everybody getting dead lots whilst banging on about getting treatment for their children's gunshot wounds.

    It's not a coincidence that Slovenia (a former Yugoslavian nation and present EU member state) applied for EU membership faster than a rat up an aqueduct.

    Regards, viewcode

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 9:22pm on 25 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    PaganBarbarian

    Re #50

    Well, thanks for Your contribution to the debate: I am sure I am not alone reading these Blogs who will have been humbly and deeply impressed by the unique quality of perspective You brought to this debate. They too, I am quite sure, will have been struck by the learned, thoughtful, considered Comment You made.

    Let us see now... Oh yes, it went along these lines:

    Apparently it is Your considered opinion anyone who expresses an opinion that opposes the European Union is,
    "... deranged.. demented.. desparate wishful thinking.. spittle flying.. foam collecting at corner of lips.. lunatic-fring kooks.. worship of UFO are level-headed & reasonable in comparison to EU-sceptics.. all are caught in the same genetically engineered bioweapon.. all born with same genetic mutation.. fools.. need medical help.."

    Well, as I said, thanks for the contribution: No doubt we will all have gained new insight into the intellectual capability of the 'pro-EU'.
    Believe me when I say Comments such as that made by You are so rewarding to many of us unable to attain that standard no matter how hard we try.

    Honestly!



    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 9:24pm on 25 Mar 2010, Chris wrote:

    Ohh, that's bad news they managed to come to an agreement :(

    I still think though that they should follow their rules and kick out all member states that don't meet the Eurozone criteria, at 15 of them, not just one or two. If they are going to follow the rules it should apply equaly to everyone!!

    Ohh BTW the ECB also said today they will accept BBB- bonds beyond 2010, I guess that's what Merkel means by we need tougher rules!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 9:41pm on 25 Mar 2010, Chris wrote:

    #60

    viewcode

    "Compare to Yugoslavia (a compound state made up of substates with different languages that didn't like each other really) which wasn't in the EU."

    Is the above realy correct I'm not a linguist, but I thought the Yugoslav substates had (still have) far more in common at a language level than Belgians do??

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 9:41pm on 25 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Pushover Peggy;

    " As they say in dog breeding circles, mongrels are often far superior to mere thoroughbreds"

    It's worse than that. Not only are we a nation of mongrels who have interbred, those mongres which came here were the castoffs, the tired poor wretched refuse of other countries whom they were only too happy to see leave. Just think of America as their revenge on those who drove them out generations later. The beauty of it is that it isn't even intentional.

    Discust_ed, one of my ancestors was Austrian. I'm glad they didn't have dual cititizenship in those days. I'm glad I do not have Austrian citizenship too. If I did, they might want me to contribute to the bailout of Greece also.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 9:43pm on 25 Mar 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    The EU is facing its severest crisis, and perhaps it appears that Germany is at the heart of it; but actually Germany is just a very worried member of the EU.
    At the heart of the EU financial mess is American derivatives, default credit swaps (including those against sovereign debt). More and more these CDS cases are coming to light, getting untangled, being reconized for the financial garbage that they are. Court cases are being filed, and judges are ruling almost unanimously in favour of those companies and governments that have been stricken by American toxic debt.
    The former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt is correct. "...the public statements of some EU leaders have fuelled more anti-European sentiment"
    But this is the way the Americans operate: Divide and conquer. As long as companies and counties are at each other's throats, blaming one another, intelligent brains stop working, adrenalin rises, and nothing useful gets done.
    Germany will defend its interests, but she will also defend the interests of the EU because that what she needs to do as a good and responsible citizen of the EU.
    Angela Merkel said it today: What has to happen is that: "the cooking the books must be stopped". She is absolutely right. All that hot toxic debt must be segregated; derviatives and their ilk either be extremely tightly controlled or made illegal. As far as I'm concerned they should have been illegal right from the start because they had absolutely no Federal regulation. CDSs are garbage - cancer to healthy financial systems.
    "There can be no tricks," she said to applause. "All member states must go that way." Yes, right on! The EU must stand united. It must stand up to the United States and tell the United States straight: regulate derivative trading or cease dealing financially with the EU.
    What the German chancellor is after is the same thing that the EU is after, is the same thing that Brussels is after, is the same thing that Basel was designed to achieve. You know Basel 1, 2, and 3 financial regulation - which the United States never even bothereed to implement.
    The current system is in trouble becuase the Americans tossed sugar in the gasoline tank.
    But I believe the EU has the courage, the intelligence, and the integrated loyalty to work through the mess and come out on the other side - better than ever, more financially secure than ever.

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 9:57pm on 25 Mar 2010, isocrates wrote:

    It`s really fun everytime I read the comments on this blog. Because laugh is the only thing that comes natural when I see a bunch of people for which euroskeptic is clearly an understatement, suggesting what Germany should or shouldn`t do, what the Eurozone should or shouldn`t decide for the sake of the common currency - a currency which they obviously despise. The very author of this column - which is supposed to be about Europe, not euro-bashing - looks down on european solidarity and similar ¨lofty ideals¨...
    The opinions of euro-haters are not relevant to those who want to solve this crisis and make Europe move on; I wonder why they keep shouting them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 9:59pm on 25 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    The farce lurches onwards.

    I guess merkell has fallen into a media trap here. Germany has big problems of its own. If she stands too high and mighty, she might find the press turn their attention to german "policy" and find a few skeletons in the closet.

    Anyway, it is all for show. The last ditch effort to stop the printing presses failed when the EMF fantasy was aired. Since then they've been printing euros like madness, all ready for the greeks to pay to their creditors.

    You know they've been printing euros. Tell me you think they haven't already done it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 10:07pm on 25 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    bluesberry, you make an impassioned speech. So the americans are to blame because a whole flock of Europeans ran around like drunken sheep trading shady derivatives nobody understood. And selling them to pension fund managers.

    The americans are to blame? Come on. Not for all the european craziness and self defeating greed, surely? Not all of it.

    The way I see it, and I speak as a free person of Switzerland who is not in any way subject to the laws of the USA, nor overly enthusiastic about their culture, oftentimes described as corpulent mediocrity, ... from my objective standpoint I don't think it is reasonable to blame all the European market madness on the American people.

    That goes to far. I think it is better to let america be tried for crimes it as committed, and to let this one go.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 10:18pm on 25 Mar 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ CBW

    You're right to say in your comment 61 that pagan doesn't contribute to the debate. He does however describe your comments on this blog.

    Let me note that in the topic 'Greek games' I invited you several times to comment on the content of your and my comments, which you refused.

    Instead in this topic you prefere in comment 9 to 'make your case' with fabcrications of your mind instead of sound facts. Your case must be very strong than!

    Let me again invite you to comment on my last contribution:

    "@CBW

    I note that you are unwilling or unable to give me an example of the Economic and Fiscal EU policy applicable to the EU26, although you stated such a policy exists in contribtion nr. 117.


    Re "I would suggest You start proving the EU "..simply is.." by asking yourself and the German Government if it is so confident of German Citizens' support for it why in 20+ years it has not once put any key EU Treaty etc. to a test in the Ballot box?
    At the last German National polls some 70+% of Citizens took part: At the 2009 EU Parliament elections a mere 43.3% of German Citizens participated - - now that is a curious set of endorsement statistics for something You claim is an "..inevitable political integration.." if only people "..used their minds.."!"

    I would suggest you don't make false conclusions. You conclude from a low turnout that people are against the EU. You can not make such a conclusion. I noted this before, and you have ignored this before (quite typical of you never to reply to critical remarks). So let me invite you again to comment on this point. And let me give you a recent example: local elections in the Netherlands in march 2010 had an all time low turnout. The turnout in one of the most important cities (rotterdam) was only 47%. According to your logic this means that a majority of the inhabitants of Rotterdam are against the 'entity' of Rotterdam.

    Re "To try to defend the 'ever closer union' of the EU as having always been the object from inception with the Treaty of Rome is plainly unacceptable and unsatisfactory. It denies all logic by purporting that the EU in its present form was inevitable when there is no reason to believe that is the case for so long as the EUropean Citizens have been denied a say in the development of the EU's institutions."

    Perhaps you should read the Rome treaty of 1957 than. 'Ever closer union' was part of the Treaty since the beginning. This carries the most weight, because one could excuse people for not knowing that all the founding fathers of the ECSC/EEC made clear the project had political ambitions, but you can not excuse people from not reading the Treaty (the document that takes away sovereignty from the national level and stipulates the conditions and objectives).

    So don't try to rewrite history. The political ambitions and objectives of European integration were there all along and even predate the economic objectives. The economic objectives are means towards the political objectives."

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 10:26pm on 25 Mar 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Marcus,
    I hope you are being paid well,as no man but a block head ever wrote this much,except for money.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 10:27pm on 25 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    ChrisArta, in post#63 you wrote "...Is the above (that the Yugoslavian member states spoke different languages) realy correct I'm not a linguist, but I thought the Yugoslav substates had (still have) far more in common at a language level than Belgians do..."

    Woah, good catch!

    Technically, I'm correct: the Serbs speak Serbian, the Croats Croatian, the Slovenes Slovenian, the (FYRO)Macedonians Macedonian, and so on. (Apart from the ones who speak Greek, Italian, Bulgarian, English, whatever...)

    Linguistically, you are right: they are mutually intelligible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Slavic_languages).

    Ouch! I've just tried to read up and my head exploded so I doubt I'll be able to contribute more meaningfully than that...:-(

    Regards, viewcode.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 10:31pm on 25 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    PaganBarbarian @50, wrote:

    "Of all the deranged, demented commentary I've read over the years in the news media, across the entire range of controversial subjects reported on this decade, I've never seen such desperate wishful thinking as the EU-haters propagate on this board, with spittle flying from their mouths, and foam collecting in the corners of their lips. "

    Gosh, what a well-reasoned rebuke to EUro-sceptics. I am sure that ardent EUrophiles such as yourself would delight in the opportunity to rid the continent of such ungrateful malcontents. As the intemperate language of your post is reminiscent of Der Stürmer - a publication which favoured a single European state - I would not be surprised if your 'solution' to the problem that we pose would not, ultimately, evolve along similar lines.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 10:38pm on 25 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    isocrates

    Re #66

    I know from long experience of reading & using these Blogs the 'pro-EU' contributors always find it difficult to comprehend any alternative viewpoint.

    All the same, I would have thought it fairly straightforward to realise this is a BBC European Editor Blog - - therefore, it is written principally to a British audience, but as ever is open to anyone with internet access - - and, it is highly likely the preponderance of views expressed may represent a British perspective on matters raised by Mr Hewitt in his Articles.

    The opinions of everyone are relevant because we all start from the same base - - we take a view on an issue and want to contribute to the debate - - whether You, I or anyone agrees or not is not even a consideration, just so long as the Comment stays within the bounds of showing respect for each other.

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 10:46pm on 25 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    viewcode @59,

    Your criticism of my POV is quite justified, but I don't really have any options - the UK won't withdraw it's membership in the foreseeable future. All major UK parties are committed to EU membership, and the subject of EU membership is not No. 1 on most UK voters' list of priorities.

    As both the UK government and the EU (each in their own way) ensured that UK citizens would have no say on further EU integration (Constitutional/Lisbon Treaty, etc), the constructive thing I can do is to encourage and work towards the disintegration of the European Project in its entirety. As the Eurozone in general, and the PIIGS in particular, are the EU's weak spot, I attack there.

    As for the these countries: I have (in truth) a great admiration for the various peoples, cultures and regions of Europe, and I truly wish them well. But I don't want to be bound to them (and they to me) in an undemocratic, unaccountable, supranational superstate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 10:51pm on 25 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #37

    A simple "I was wrong" would suffice Marcus

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 10:57pm on 25 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #38

    No one cares. Your references to the US are tedious in the extreme.

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 11:45pm on 25 Mar 2010, Mickalus wrote:

    Mork

    Pabulum gratis from an American on a topic dear to you.

    "Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is." — Sydney J. Harris

    Perhaps these are lessons history has taught those of us in Europe only too well.

    Perhaps history will also teach you too.

    Nanu Nanu

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 11:49pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    To isocrates:

    Have you ever complained anywhere about the fact that we in the UK were not given the referendum we were promised?

    Do you think it is wrong?

    Can you not understand that there was bound to be trouble?

    Since 70% of the population of the UK did not want the Lisbon Treaty, do you really want them in your "EU"?

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 11:54pm on 25 Mar 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    69. Jean_Luc
    'Ever closer union'. What the heck does that mean? Don't get me wrong, I don't have a dog in the hunt but I fail to see how this one phrase used in the 57 treaty can justify any and all actions of the EU. It sounds like a law coming out of our congress consisting of thousands of pages no one and I mean no one understands. Re current health care bill.

    I would dearly like for the US to have a 'closer union' with Russia (Mainly because of Alice), but I don't intend to swap spit with them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 11:56pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    50. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2010, PaganBarbarian wrote:


    " ... Someone walking down the street in Paris can't stop to retie his shoelaces without them pointing at him and screaming, 'You see!? You see!!!??? The EU will suffer the torments of the damned!!!!! It's inescapable!!!!! Look!!!!! He's tying his shoelaces!!!!! The proof is right before your eyes!!!!! Why can't you see what's so obvious!!!!!'
    And so on. "

    Have you actually seen this happen?

    Was it said in English or French or another language?

    It wasn't me. I don't go to Paris. I boycott French goods because of Sarkozy. I used to work on my French but not any more. Language learning in the UK appears to have declined and it appears that your "EU" is in part to blame.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 11:59pm on 25 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    50. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2010, PaganBarbarian wrote:


    " ... without ever learning anything ..."

    EUpris: I'm glad to say that doesn't apply to me because I used to be in favour of the Common Market.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 00:03am on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    50. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2010, PaganBarbarian wrote:


    " ... The people who worship UFOs and Atlantis are rational, levelheaded, and reasonable in comparison to the EU-skeptics ..."

    How many UFO worshippers do you know?

    How come you are so familiar with their minds?

    Have you spent a lot of time amongst them?

    If so, why?

    Can they spell "sceptic" ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 00:06am on 26 Mar 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    50. At 7:37pm on 25 Mar 2010, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    " ... EU-haters ... with spittle flying from their mouths, and foam collecting in the corners of their lips. ..."

    How can you see that from where you are?

    Would you like to lie on the couch and tell us about it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 00:31am on 26 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaxSceptic @74, sorry for having tried to correct you, I forgot you have different agenda :o) (to my advice how to best keep an empire).

    How to best ruin an empire, for that matter, is, for example, to have the main sponsor bankrupt.
    :o)))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 00:37am on 26 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    You say Germans don't buy Jaguars? :o))) Nuclear arms? Nothing, at all, alluring to them, anymore :o)))))) Difficult case. Then may be, if only, they will buy Ukraine? No? Not anymore?
    Well then I don't know. You can't do anything with people who don't want to spend.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 00:40am on 26 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    What we could from our side we did. :o) Returned them 1/2 of the apple. This kept Germany busy for 20 years, I'd say, but several yrs ago they seem to have cheered up again :o) and got ready for more heroic deeds.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 01:58am on 26 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Raspberry;

    "The EU is facing its severest crisis"

    The worst is yet to come.


    At the heart of the EU financial mess is American derivatives, default credit swaps (including those against sovereign debt). More and more these CDS cases are coming to light, getting untangled, being reconized for the financial garbage that they are. Court cases are being filed, and judges are ruling almost unanimously in favour of those companies and governments that have been stricken by American toxic debt."

    Actually all a credit default swap is is an insurance policy. You collect a premium to guarantee that mortgages will be paid back. When they aren't you are at risk to pay them instead. European banks were even more eager to buy them up than American Banks. American banks leveraged themselves 10 to 1. European banks leveraged themselves 20, 30, even 40 to 1. They didn't mind it when they were making money on them. If people can't be trusted to handle money responsibly, then they shouldn't be put in positions where they can squander it on what they don't understand or investigate. The flawed ratings have been ruled by American courts as merely an expression of free speech and those who made them are not liable for the consequences of being wrong.

    "But this is the way the Americans operate: Divide and conquer."

    It wouldn't take much to divide Belgium. A strong breeze should be sufficient to rent it in two. Conquer Belgium? For what, the chocolate? The waffles? You must be joking.

    "As long as companies and counties are at each other's throats, blaming one another, intelligent brains stop working, adrenalin rises, and nothing useful gets done.

    That's what you're doing now isn't it? Evidently even unintelligent brains stop working...well working such as they were anyway.

    "There can be no tricks,"

    The whole EU is nothing but a trick. No tricks, no EU.

    "The current system is in trouble becuase the Americans tossed sugar in the gasoline tank."

    I'd like to think the US engineered this whole financial crisis to destroy Europe but that would be giving it far more credit than it deserves.

    "But I believe the EU has the courage, the intelligence, and the integrated loyalty to work through the mess and come out on the other side - better than ever, more financially secure than ever."

    What planet do you live on?

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 02:16am on 26 Mar 2010, viewcode wrote:

    MaxSceptic, in post#74 you wrote "...the UK won't withdraw it's membership in the foreseeable future. All major UK parties are committed to EU membership...the constructive thing I can do is to encourage and work towards the disintegration of the European Project in its entirety. As the Eurozone in general, and the PIIGS in particular, are the EU's weak spot, I attack there..."

    OK, treating your point seriously. Your options are as follows (most probable first):

    Option 1) How to remove the UK from the EU within 1 yr
    Vote UKIP. It's not probable it'll achieve a majority, but it is entirely possible it'll achieve sufficient seats to make a difference in a hung Parliament. The UK could be out of the EU by January 1, 2011 (the Lisbon secession process is tidier and preferable but not strictly speaking necessary).

    Option 2) How to make UK's membership of the EU tolerable
    Vote Conservative. They won't take the UK out of the EU but its proposed changes (UK Sovereignty Act plus a referendum requirement) will kinda semi-divorceish the UK from the EU (perhaps "living apart together" is a better phrase). It's not *leaving* the EU by any stretch but you may find it meets your requirements enough to tolerate and get on with your life.

    Option 3) How to make the EU something you want to be a member of
    There is a generalised feeling amongst the peoples of the EU-27 that the EU is suboptimal. The EU's structure is defined by the treaties, which in turn are decided by the EU-27 governments. It's not improbable that this diffuse feeling of "the EU is not as good as it could be" will eventually be reflected at the govermental level (they are all democracies, after all). It's not easy (I'm thinking 10-20 years) and requires you to put the hours in, but if you become politically active (identify MPs in the EU-27 who agree with you, seek allies, support your preferred candidates, deprecate the ones you dislike), you will eventually wear them down.

    However, I can't help thinking that pan-European political cooperation is here to stay. The forces driving it (multiple medium-sized member states with few natural resources trying to cope in a hostile world dominated by continental-class countries) will not disappear within our lifetimes. If the EU disappeared tomorrow, a successor would be recreated by the European states in toto within 10 years.

    Consider the irony. For thirty years, UK foreign policy has sought to weaken the EU by actively encouraging EU enlargement. But it's now so big and so...distributed, it's become very difficult to kill. To put it simply. If you nuked Brussels tomorrow, the European Council and Council of Ministers would be back in action within a fortnight, the European Parliament would be back in action within one month, a new European Commission within six months.

    You can encourage and work towards the disintegration of the European Project in its entirety if you wish. But I don't think it can be done anymore.

    Regards, viewcode.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 04:52am on 26 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Re viewcode at 71:

    Nice to meet a fellow who checks his facts in his spare time. The way the christian god has ordered creation, such a person is likely to be right more often than the average bear.

    Speaking of being right, they had already printed the money.

    It is a curious facet of the EU that laws to do with the ECB and the Euro are pushed entirely through the commission and not the parliament. So what this means is that we will learn absolutely nothing about what is to be done until is has already been done.

    To explain this process of law in American terms, it is like congress being not able to vote on money bills. A pretty profound circumvention of the democratic process.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 05:35am on 26 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #53 Manneken et al
    We have quite a few here that are completely behind the beat, and then we have a couple, who are also loudly playing out of tune. I agree with Manneken in #53 that the rest of us should stay with the tune.

    Later today I shall take a look at the Frankfurter Allgemeine, which is close to the stock market in the city, and see what it writes, but already now it can be said that Germans in general will be satisfied with the course of Angela Merkel.

    She is actually changing Germany’s role in the union, but exactly what it will be it is too early to say. It looks like more nation and less continent, but it might as well be more of the union in different tempos. If we get new changes of the treaty, an EWF, and tougher rules on violation of the stability criteria, - and these criteria are crucial to Germany as Merkel said only yesterday in Bundestag, it will raise the demands for those in the centre of the union.

    The whole thing began as a security arrangement. This element is still crucial to the European continent.
    Then it developed into a market, and that is crucial to German enterprises, but not only. The Common Agriculture Policy is of course the biggest part of the budget.
    If Lady Ashton gets the necessary backup, and that is quite an IF, the continent will perhaps get a more profiled role in world politics.

    We have many discussions and summits before us!

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 05:44am on 26 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #57 Viewcode
    I can say the source is a reliable and serious Danish newspaper, but it is over now and I am not allowed to link to it and secondly you cannot read it.
    The Danish PM was actually also ready to pay, but you could clearly hear his relief when he found out that he will not be asked.

    The Swedes are intelligent, and they know what it is all about. My guess is that the Swiss have seen the same, and I can only see one reason: The importance of the Euro.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 05:56am on 26 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #63 ChrisArta
    My linguistic encyclopedia says that the southern Slawic languages are:
    Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 06:38am on 26 Mar 2010, Chris wrote:

    #92

    It was a comment regarding (ex)Yugoslavia having different languages, I was under the impresion that they all spoke some form of Slavic and the difference was not as great as between the French language & the Dutch laubguage. You may be right I don't have precise information if the difference between the Serbian language and the Croatian language or the Slovenian language and the Croatian language is greater than French & Dutch language differences.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 07:30am on 26 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    Gavin,
    At times, I wander where really is the UK, in the EU or out of the EU? Let’s read together your last judgement:
    “What seems to be emerging is that Germany wants to use the crisis with Greece to bend the eurozone more to its own image, to ensure that, in future, it is a club that plays by the rules. Some are suggesting that Germany wants the club to play by its rules.”
    You see Gavin, one could make out it that Germany was really indented to impose some kind of hegemony over the EU. It would be much fair to name those who think so instead of playing “the impartial, humble journalist” who came from, say, New Zeeland for covering the next European soccer final. Second, the Germany’s stance seems to be the right one. The fact that Frau Merkel insists for more transparency and for more discipline in the home fiscal affairs of each member state does not necessarily means that Germany is trying to alter the rules only in its own interest. Some countries, including Bulgaria and Estonia, have recently taken very serious steps aimed at the increasing of the control over the use of EU funds; at the same time they are making their best to cut of the public spending /incl. freezing of wages, privatization of some sectors, cuts of the defence/public health/education expenses etc./. That said, I think it is high time to name the problems by their real names instead of seeking to transfer them to Germany, as if the German stance was the one to be blamed and not the irresponsible and careless behaviour of several member states’ governments for the last decade!
    And I allow myself to ask you once again, where is old Britain in the present situation? To-day, the EU leaders will maybe let us know what their final decision is for helping the Greek government in recovering the Greek economy. It’s a question that concerns the whole euro zone and the mere existence of the EU. If Germany insists on improving the rules of the EU economy, that message should be an alarm bell for all the member states, no matter whether they are member of the Euro zone or not.
    Sofia, Marsh 26th 2010 Generalissimo

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 08:17am on 26 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @93 ChrisArta
    “…I was under the impresion that they all spoke some form of Slavic…”
    Sorry to intervene. Your impression is right. All of them (Serbs, Croatians, Slovenians, Bosnians, Montenegrins and Macedonians) communicated in Serbo-Croatian. Of course, all of them have their own dialects. For instance the Macedonians speak the same language as we, the Bulgarians!
    Better ask the neighbours. They will tell you all the local gossip…
    Sofia, March 26th 2010

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 08:34am on 26 Mar 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    '70. At 10:26pm on 25 Mar 2010, ukwales wrote:
    Marcus,
    I hope you are being paid well,as no man but a block head ever wrote this much,except for money.'

    MAII is not a person; it's a franchise, with around 1500 people operating from sweaty basement offices throughout the US of A, with a mission statement to pepper the various BBC blogs with anti-European propaganda. It's co-sponsored by the CIA and the Tea Party.

    But I can't, of course, prove it.


    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 08:46am on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Deal!

    EU - Greek crisis resolved!

    What deal?

    This a.m. I've been listening to Finnish YLA Radio, checked some British Newspapers on-line, heard the BBC Radio 4 Today, and had a look at the Business news off CNN, BBC24, China9 & Al Jazeera.

    Busy, busy, aye!

    Every news of the 'deal' carried the impressive total sum (23 Billion). The only other 'deal' point of note was that the reserve Fund would be accessed at 'Market rates' by Greece.
    Which is quite a step as Greece cannot affors the 'Market Rate' now, so how does the 'reserve' deal make a difference?

    Only trouble with all of them was not a single Journalist of any persuasion could actually provide details of the 'EU-deal' to offer a package of Financial measures should Greece require it?

    Apparently Greece as a part of the 'deal' is being made by Germany-France to make deeper 'cuts' - - only no one has explained that to the Greek PM as he spoke this a.m./last night (unsure when filmed) that his Government's policies were on course at present?

    Apparently the EU will provide the bulk of the reserved 'Funds', but again, no details as to which EU Nations & how much from each?

    Apparently the IMF will be in the mix, yet no one from the IMF was able to state clearly any amount/percent etc. and exact details of how its role will be played are also missing?

    Apparently Barroso & von Rompuy were very pleased by the outcome of the 'deal' as they made bold statements together about it, but were remarkably unable/unwilling to explain when/how the 'deal' could be activiated by Greece?

    So it appears: Apparently 23 Billion EUros is such small change nobody really has to bother with fine-print on the contract between Greece and the EU Community or the IMF - - that's okay then!?

    Mathiasen informs us it is done 'deal' & it would seem so far as the EU, IMF, Greece and 500 million Citizens of EUrope are concerned that is about as much of a guarantee as is likely to be given to any of us.

    Thanks Mathiasen: I feel very reassured.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 09:17am on 26 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    viewcode @88 wrote:

    "If you nuked Brussels tomorrow... " Heavens forfend! I actually like Brussels and really enjoy my visits there (great art, food, architecture, etc.).

    "You can encourage and work towards the disintegration of the European Project in its entirety if you wish. But I don't think it can be done anymore." That's very much what 'wise and level-headed advisers' told Reagan about the Soviet Union in the 1980s...

    Actually, I should make it clear that I am not against the EU - but against Britain's membership in the EU. And as I don't believe that it can be 'reformed', I'll not waste my energies in that direction.

    Cheers.


    Meanwhile this 'deal' looks less like a dog's breakfast and more like a mirage. Where's the beef? I await the details. Actually the only 'hard' statement I have read recently is Sarkozy's pledge to retain the obscenity called CAP: “I say clearly, I would be ready to have a crisis in Europe before I accept the dismantling of the common agricultural policy. “I will not let our agricultural sector die,” Mr Sarkozy told Reuters.

    Great to see European Solidarity* in action.

    (*industrious German, Dutch and Swedish taxpayers paying French farmers to maintain their nice lifestyles).

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 09:17am on 26 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #97. At 08:46am on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work
    It is most reasonable to ask for the concrete contents of the decisions yesterday, but we should also understand that the printed media have some problems in comparison with the electronic media.

    Everybody will get information of course, but here are some points:
    1) Greece will try to deal with the problem itself. The deal is about guarantees that should secure Greece a reasonable rate of interest.
    2) Should subsidies be necessary (an ultima ratio as Merkel says) bilateral loans will be used. This save her from problems in Karlsruhe.
    3) The IMF will be involved too.

    I strongly recommend those, who can read German, to read the Frankfurter Allgemeine today. (You CBW, as a sceptic) should be prepared for new troubles). There is much information on the IMF, and on the latest development of the EU.
    Among the most important is that Merkel wants changes of the treaty more precisely on the chapters concerning the currency and has insisted that Mr. Rompuy leads the preparations for this. The work group will include the Euro zone countries, the European Central Bank, the EU commission, and other interested countries. The latter are for instance Sweden and Denmark.
    The group should finish its work at the end of the year.

    To everybody: Keep an eye on the media and report back if possible. BBC is a British institution of course, but this is at the same time the place to discuss European matters in the language most people have as their first foreign language.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 09:26am on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    generalissimo @#94

    The United Kingdom is definitively in the European Union and has a pretty good ranking as to application of EU Directives - some EU nations being better and smarter at applying the EU Directives and other EU nations worse than the UK for doing so. Despite pretensions of individual citizens of the UK to criticise the EU and seek for the UK to leave the EU - that isn’t going to happen any time as far as I can envisage.

    What I think you mean to say (and please forgive me if I am wrong) is that you see the UK as an unwilling partner within the EU. Politically speaking this is not true. The UK politicians, in the main, see the EU and the UK firmly tied together as a partnership with Europe and do seek, through the Council of Ministers and EU Parliament, to work with Europe rather than against it. What you may perceive is that there is a strong British element of EU-scepticism and even EU-hatred to the point of wishing the UK to leave the EU or even, Heaven forbid, see the destruction of the EU - which is really quite bizarre thinking.

    I suspect that there are probably as many British people who like the UK being in the European Union as there are British people who see the EU as being something foreign and objectionable. Unfortunately these views, although self-evident from articles, posts and comments published widely within the Internet have never been really tested in an electoral vote within the UK so the arguments (within the UK) will continue to rage for and against EU membership ad nauseam.

    I strongly suspect that the dislike of the EU stems from a cultural clash between the UK way of doing things politically and a British perception that other Europeans do things differently politically.

    This perspective IS definitely bizarre in that the British presume that their political system is better than any other political system in use within Europe and clearly, with all the duplicity, dishonesty and malpractice of British parliamentarians (both elected and unelected) that have been recently uncovered through freedom of information we can all see that malfeasance is rampant in British politics. Where there is corrupt practice there will be self-interest and bad government.

    Where, I think, there is a real and existing culture clash between the UK and the rest of Europe (particularly within the EU) is that government in Germany epitomises Consensus Politics and this is born out of Federalism and elections resulting in compromise and coalition government. Many of the other EU nations have very similar ways of electing and creating governments.

    In the UK we have, since the turn of the 20th Century, had a two party political system (the Conservative Party and the Labour Party ) with one other party (the Liberal Democrats) that exists but has never been able to achieve political power despite all its best efforts. Smaller political party and independent representatives do get elected to our parliaments and authority councils but in such small numbers that they cannot make any obvious difference.

    The UK system is more confrontational but it tends to lead to strong leadership and strong government decisions. Whether that leadership makes the right choices or correct decisions - at least the decisions are strong and implemented quickly.

    Whether the UK parliamentary system is the best or whether the UK goes over to proportional representative elections is being considered within the UK at the moment. If proportional representation is adopted within the UK, I could envisage the development of more pragmatic and less confrontational British governments resulting in more compromised decision making and less confrontational politics.

    If that happens then the UK political system will become more like the German (and other EU nation) political system and, ultimately, like the EU Parliament which is already populated with UK MEPS elected through proportional representation.

    It is perhaps this fundamental change in the way that the UK is governed that is at the heart of ending British resentment of the EU. I believe the eventually the British "first-past-the-Post" electoral system will end in due course and resentment of the EU, very particularly a British trait, will also diminish over time as the British accept their lot.

    I hasten to add that I remain sceptical that the EU is derived from truly democratic process and seek to change the way the EU operates politically so that THE people of Europe have more say in how the EU develops - perhaps more of a Trading Bloc and less a supranational political entity (whatever the People not just the Politicians want it to be) but that I remain convinced the United Kingdom is better off working WITH and WITHIN Europe than constantly decrying how unfair it all is!

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 09:27am on 26 Mar 2010, g_rizzly wrote:

    Deal seems good. Greece has got a psychological assurance that they won't be left to default and Greece's spread rate is decreasing already. The other member-states have only given a legally binding promise to loan Greece (at market rates, i.e. at a profit), which may or may be come to pass. Germany has agreed to guarantee Greece's debt in a exchange for more central control in the Eurozone. Finally, Greeks themselves have secured that their government has not been saved with foreign money and that the Commission and the Council will be exercising constant pressure for reforms.

    The superstate works after all, isn't it? (without mentioning the weaker euro in the process)

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 09:48am on 26 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    g_rizzly @101 wrote:

    The superstate works after all, isn't it? (without mentioning the weaker euro in the process)

    Not mentioning the weaker Euro is like Basil Fawlty not mentioning the W*r.

    A weaker Euro will erode the savings and investments of hardworking people throughout the Eurozone (especially German, Dutch and Swedish taxpayers) - just a subsidy in another guise. But that's OK I guess.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 09:54am on 26 Mar 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:

    I do wonder if Gavin ever looked at the political allegiances that the different players have here. Especially somebody like Merkel. It's absurd, completely absurd even, to refer to what she says as just 'Germany wants x'. No, Merkel's government, and specifically she, has a very different idea from what you will hear out of other German quarters. I'm expecting too much from reporters if I hope they remember which party in Germany was Merkel's favourite for forming a coalition? (Give up? It was the FDP, look it up on wiki if you forgot who they are) It's really no surprise that she would take this route.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 09:55am on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #99

    Thanks for very prompt response though You hardly added to my own scant knowledge of the actual 'deal': So, I assume you too in Germany are in the dark on the process.
    Merkel (& Sarkozy, Barroso et al) may be using the same 'spin' doctor methods as UK's NuLab Govnmt - - in which case prepare 4 weeks from now for detailed revelations that turn German public opinion around as I assure You the ONLY EU Economy fit enough to 'pay' for this 'deal' is Germany - - and German Citizens will not like that fact when it emerges.

    As for revisions to 'Lisbon' (or did You mean the EUro-zone agreements?) that will be an interesting set of negotiations post-UK General Election.

    If Brown & NuLab are returned to Office then compromises supportive to the EU & UK involvement in it will be made & the UK Citizens' viewpoint will again be ignored.
    If Cameron's Conservatives get the Public Vote then Brussels can expect a some battles as Cameron will claim UK Citizen support for his non-compromise attitude to changes to Lisbon (especially as any changes may need a UK Referendum) though doubtless Cameron will buckle eventually as the enriching inducements of the EU are made clear to his Conservative MPs/MEPs.

    The worst scenario for the EU perspective is the 'hung UK Parliament' with NuLab & Conservative Parties neck & neck in a bravado show of who dares snub Brussels & revisions to Lisbon the most for the UK Citizens' consumption! A sort of auction of policy-promises on the EU from both main UK Parties that may prevent any advance on Lisbon until another UK General Election 12 to 20 months down the decade.

    Hey-ho, it is all fascinatingly daft - - however, I must add, none of it more so than the great 'EU-IMF-Greek deal' - - no figures at all = very, very daft!


    Cheers!

    Or, maybe fraternal Commisserations to the Greek People yet to hear of the new round of 'cuts', and to the entire EUropean Citizenry, yet to be informed how their already very depressed Economic-Tax Payer situation is to 'save/bail-out/rescue' the EUro-zone project and thereby Brussels!

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 10:06am on 26 Mar 2010, g_rizzly wrote:

    Re: 102

    Max, in order to be hard-working, first you need to have a job. Not only German industrialists need a weaker euro to boost their exports, but Greece also needs a weaker euro to boost its hotel reservations. All this translates to jobs instead of job cuts.

    Furthermore, I don't see why our money should go to China, Turkey, the UK or any other non-eurozone country, if we can get their own cash instead.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 10:17am on 26 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    104. At 09:55am on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "Thanks for very prompt response though You hardly added to my own scant knowledge of the actual 'deal': So, I assume you too in Germany are in the dark on the process."

    Not really in the dark, I have good sources from Denmark too, but I want to be sure what the deal is about. We will know the details. Later.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 10:29am on 26 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    viewcode;

    "Option 3) How to make the EU something you want to be a member of"

    The EU cannot be and will never be a European analog of the United States of America. For one thing it's ingredients are entirely different. Second and most important you cannot build a copy including an improved, modified, or adapted facsimile from a model you don't understand. It is virtually certain that Europeans do not understand how the United States of America works. Even those who have come to America such a the hordes of British, the European culture which most closely resembles it (but doesn't really resemble it at all) cannot understand it as evidenced by interviews with British diplomats who have served long terms living in America or BBC correspondents who are in America to report about it. I use the analogy of someone seeing a 747 airplane from a distance trying to build one like it by carving a facsimile from stone and then expecting it to fly. Without knowing why the original works, they can't possibly build one that could work themselves.

    "To put it simply. If you nuked Brussels tomorrow, the European Council and Council of Ministers would be back in action within a fortnight"

    And every bit as ineffective and incompetent. On the off chance that the replacement would be an improvement or that something of genuine value would happen in the interim in its absence, being a citizen of a competitor to the EU, I'd say it is far better strategy for the US that Brussels be allowed to blunder and stumble its way through its ordeal exactly as it is. Destroying Brussels is the last thing an American would want. It is far more cruel and damaging to Europe to leave it alone.

    Wontthrillya;

    "MAII is not a person; it's a franchise, with around 1500 people operating from sweaty basement offices throughout the US of A, with a mission statement to pepper the various BBC blogs with anti-European propaganda. It's co-sponsored by the CIA and the Tea Party."

    I think you do me a grave injustice with your outrageous statement about me. Clearly it isn't my genetic makeup, I come from the same gene pool as Europeans so it must have something to do with my education and experiences in life. 1500 people? How insulant. Figuring by your reckoning that the average American is about 10 to 100 times smarter than the average European, it would be the equivalent of at least 15,000 to 150,000 Europeans. But being conservative I'd estimate that I am the equal of at least 1 million Europeans. That is why I find it child's play to prove you Europeans wrong every time. Just think of it wontthrillya, one person, one mind equal to 1 million or more people of another culture. I am to you what you would be to a Neanderthal. And if even I can't figure out how the EU could possibly be made to work, what chance does Europe have of accomplishing it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 10:35am on 26 Mar 2010, Chris wrote:

    Hmmm, to me it looks as far more important the news that the ECB announced, that the ECB will accept "BBB-" bonds from banks as gurante to get cash from the ECB.

    With that the ECB basically said, although Greece can't print money, it can use its government owned bank (I assume it has some) to buy its bonds and give them to the ECB in return for cash.

    So really with that in mind I don't see the Greeks queuing up to the IMF for money, they can get it from the ECB.

    Is my logic above correct or am I dreaming?

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 10:47am on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Menedemus

    Re #100

    I promise I tried to follow Your logic.

    I thought You were a tad unfair in ascribing UK Citizen dislike of the EU to in the main a "..culture clash..", having written the sense of differentness is "..definitely bizarre..": Surely that particular area applies both ways? Sur le Continent do not Germans, French, Hungarians, Swedes etc. to some extent consider the UK as the odd one out and is that not also bizarre?
    Afterall, as Members of this EU do not the British have the equal right & responsibiity to represent what they believe is in their Nations' & thereby future generations best interests?
    What is 'bizarre' about the British Isles is that it ever considered a 'Union' other than for Trading purposes with a Community whose 'bizarre' History is at odds with that of the general experience of Britons!

    Having read Your piece 3 times to ensure I got the full gist of Your arguments which are almost entirely 'pro-EU' I concluded the following:

    Basically, Your view is the UK should abandon its centuries evolved political-judicial customs & practises in favour an EU system. Apparently this tried and tested UK system in which MP expenses scandal, military & foreign policies e.g. Iraq, inappropriate behaviour by elected & unelected officials all eventually get revealed to UK Citizens & dealt with, is in Your view not sufficiently robust to be retained. Then You admit 'strong Government' often emerges in the UK at 5 year intervals by FPTP where the 60 million UK Citizens inc. devolved assemblies can make a choice/judgement as to what has gone before.

    However, You then retract: According to You the EU 500 million Citizen Vote using PR is so much more a reflection of Public wishes because it leads to 'compromise' as opposed to 'confrontation': Which is really bizarre in the extreme as how You can explain a political compromise suitable to Finnish-Dutch-Portuguese-Slovak-Maltese Citizens as being in way, shape or form a satisfactory or superior outcome is something I could not find in your analysis?

    You argue the UK should go over entirely to a new Voting system and place its future in a Brussels' framework where the same sort of mishandling of funds, ill-advised policies & inappropriate behaviours have seldom, if ever, been appropriately dealt with. This unresponsive body-politic is due in large part to the average MEP & most certainly the EU Commission being wholly unconnected to the EU Citizens. National representatives in the UK Parliaments must be & are accountble to their Constituents: You propose going over to the EU system where Citizens post-election have absolutely no involvement with the institutions of Government!

    E.g. You argue for the EU political-constitutional methods: However, You neglect to mention how/why it is except for 1 EU Treaty (rejected 'constitution'), no EU deal (present 'Greek deal' being classic) since Maastricht 1992 has been put to the EU Citizens for their approval - - NOT 1 EU Treaty has been altered as a result of Citizen pressure except 3 Lisbon Protocols for Eire - - so much for the benefits of PR!?

    The argument often used by 'pro-EU' for not allowing more Citizen 'say' on EU Treaties/deals is that the 'Citizen does not understand the complex issues at stake'. Which is an EU method of announcing Democracy only applies whe it suits the EU - - thus ALL Citizens of each Nation were deemed clever enough to 'understand' a Referendum on Membership of the EU, but afterwards they are too dumb and cannot be trusted to 'understand' anything more - - Democracy EU style: Don't You just love it!?

    You then finally admit & suggest in Your final paragraph the EU is very largely unrepresentative, unaccountable and anti-democratic in its present structures!?

    Your solution is for the UK to stay in this corrupt framework and work for changes.

    My conclusion: If the UK, as You claim, is so much better off inside the EU, how come You were unable to present a single, significant advantage for Citizens of the EU over the UK constitution?

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 11:21am on 26 Mar 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    g_rizzly @105,

    A weak Euro may help the Greek tourism industry - assuming, of course, that the majority of tourists to Greece are from outside the Eurzone.

    Germans, when they gave up the Mark, were promised a strong currency. Now people are trying to tell them that a weak Euro will be 'good' for them. I don't think they'll buy it. After all, they are not a stupid people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 11:25am on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #107

    Priceless observations!

    "...EU never like the USA.. like building.. 747 facsimile from stone.."

    "(nuke Brussels).. Destroying Brussels is the last thing an American would want... far more cruel and damaging to EUrope to leave it alone.."

    "..I am to you what you would be to a neanderthal.."

    "..if I cant' figure out how to make EU work... what chance does EUrope have?"

    Did You really come up with those on Your own?

    Haven't enjoyed so much heartfelt laughter at the derogatory sharpness of tone for a very long time!
    There's touch of Seinfeld about quite a bit of your stuff - - you sure you weren't a screenwriter in your spare time?

    Well done.

    Don't ever stop making contributions: I wrote before & advise you now, there's a Book in Your jottings & You could make a lot of money from it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 11:34am on 26 Mar 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @107 MAII

    Hahahahaha. You surpass yourself, every time I think you've reached the peak you climb just that little bit further up your own personal mountain of bull.

    Hah, the equal of 1'000'000 Europeans? Million Man Marcus, I take it its MA3 from now on?

    You really make my day, please never leave us :-) .

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 11:35am on 26 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re:108: ChrisArta. You come from the beautiful city of Arta, a proud Epirot. Epirots among Greeks were great builders and valiant fighters. They claim the first Greek oracle, Dodone, that dates much before Homeric times, well back into Mycenaen period. The kingdom of Epirus of classical times is most famous for its king Phyrrus but what people ignore is that it was a kingdom closely related to the kingdom of Macedonia, quite rich despite being mountainous, adorned with beautiful cities but out of which nothing remains since Romans destroyed them all with a vegence. However Epirots remained always in the forefront of developments being the entrance to Greek peninsula from Italic peninsula, and becoming one of the 3 heirs to Byzantine Empire, the Epirus despotate. During the Ottoman occupation Epirots resisted, in most places remained largely self-organised developing towns "that had nothing to be jealous of French cities as a French tourist would write", and as a symbol of that capacity, remains always the famous bridge of Arta. Not to mention that in the Greek revolution Epirots played a huge part.

    So I do not do all this prologue to teach you things you already know, this is just dedicated to my friend Max.

    My question is this:
    you are an intelligent guy so why say the following?

    ""...So really with that in mind I don't see the Greeks queuing up to the IMF for money, they can get it from the ECB.
    Is my logic above correct or am I dreaming?""

    Of course you are not dreaming, and the case seems to be indeed like this. BUT what you should wonder is that if it was that easy for EU-IMF why did they do a great fuss so many months? As I said Greece's financial problem is not new, not news, it is huge but it is small inside the EU. Of course, one can say that the whole affair was not only for Greece but for all other countries, but then why didn't they propose a quick fix early on to shush the market and then behind the scenes apply pressure to PIGS or whatever other ANIMAL country that has a problem with finance and accountance methods (and that includes pretty much all EU, isn't it?).

    I have been saying this for a long time: if the discussion took so long it means there were serious trade-offs to be made. So do we know what exactly did we give to have this deal? Only our good will? I cannot believe this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 11:47am on 26 Mar 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ MAIII

    "That is why I find it child's play to prove you Europeans wrong every time. Just think of it wontthrillya, one person, one mind equal to 1 million or more people of another culture. I am to you what you would be to a Neanderthal."

    Awwww Bless, you think your smart. That's adorable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 12:04pm on 26 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #107

    "something to do with my education and experiences in life"

    Haha! Good one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 12:25pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    cool_brush_work @#109

    Let me clarify.

    I do not say that Proportional Representation is better (or worse) than First-past-the-Post I merely state that it is being considered for General Elections for Westminster Parliamentary Seats.

    If implemented, Proportional Representation would do away with the two-party system the UK now has and the change would inevitably lead to compromise and consensus government.

    I do not know if this will suit the British but the British will, I believe, get it sooner or later imposed upon them I suspect.

    I detest the EU as it is now. The reasons I detest the EU is that it is a political invention foisted upon us all by politicians who took the concept of Europe working together in a a single internal market and have made the EU construct without real and clear popular mandate.

    However, I am more pragmatic than to keep banging my head against a brick wall and aspire to British withdrawal form the EU. The United Kingdom withdrawing from the EU has about as much chance of happening as never or never-ever as our UK politicians, now and in the future, will not countence any such moves. Turkeys do not vote for Christmas Dinner!

    My preference is to keep arguing for internal change and development of the EU so that the EU becomes what the nearly 500million citizens of the nation states that comprise the EU want it to be. Whether that choice is supranational state, single European market or to defragment the EU back to nation states working together collectively ... THAT choice ought to be the citizens’ choice and thus be a more democratic than now where 27 National Leaders determine what is good for us all and nominate their own pet-poodle Commissioners to deliver their requirements.

    The main thrust of my comment at #100 was to rebut the suggestion that the UK is not a willing partner of the EU - the fact is that, politically, the United Kingdom is very much part of the EU and -whether one wants the UK in or out of the EU construct - leaving the EU is not likely to happen any time soon.

    What might happen is that Proportional Representation becomes the way of politics in the United Kingdom and, as a result, consensus politics develops as opposed to the current two-party confrontational politics that exists now and that this cultural change may lead to the development of the British acceptance of the European form of democracy which is to govern by consensus and backroom deals - something which is currently an anathema to the British as a cultural dislike.

    Again, you misunderstand that I am a supporter of consensus government or decision making behind closed doors - I honestly do not know what it is like never having experienced it other than in European Parliamentary elections which has seen success achieved for fringe parties like the BNP - I fear that such a system for Westminster could see such events arise within the UK. That notwithstanding, once (and if that becomes) the way of doing things in the UK then it becomes more hard for the British to argue that their system is better than the other European nation's systems. It also should be said, quite frankly, that the current UK Parliament has been found out to have been corrupt, venal and entirely without merit leaving many British to wonder if their form of government is not ripe for fundamental change for the better as it could not get much worse (Fingers crossed!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 12:36pm on 26 Mar 2010, g_rizzly wrote:

    @ChrisArta Re:108

    This is a very keen observation indeed. All the Greek banks have been doing that, not just Bank of Greece. They are probably opening champagne bottles in Athens right now :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 12:37pm on 26 Mar 2010, Chris wrote:

    #113

    @Nik Not exactly Nik, but you made it sound very good, now I wished I was from there :)) It is an anagram (Art) plus "a" :))

    I still think that the ECB through the back door is priniting Euro to help Greece and everyone else really. The whole thing is a joke trilions of Euro last year to save the banks, we have no change in hell to ever pay that money back the only way to default - without default - is to print money and devalue the currency.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 12:37pm on 26 Mar 2010, phoenix wrote:

    @ 114. So true. MAII is like a delusional little puppy barking in the background oe sniffing round your toes. Every now and again some of the smarter commentators on this blog throw him a tit bit to get his jaws round, but on the whole its best never throw pearls before swine. Im not sure what the metaphor for a nationalist canine would be...but I digress. Like in a holiday resort its best just to ignore the little scavenger. Unfortunately theres always someone ready to throw him some meat which is why hes still around this blog trolling away in the hope of some juicy meat.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 12:39pm on 26 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Marcus is definitely a government project of some kind. Whether he is man or machine, or part machine nationalist cyborg, none of us can really know.

    But he does make a point about political consciousness, and understanding how government operates. And caring about how it operates.

    The USA, like Switzerland, was started by small communities who disliked government, and who distrusted it and proclaimed the rights of the people to be protected from government. And so you had the rise of a highly civil, very productive society and economy. In both states.

    Nowhere in Europe has had the same history of liberal enlightenment.

    Napoleon brought monarchy back to the chaotic revolutionary french state, and Cromwell brought in religious fundamentalism which was then replaced with monarchy. Russia had the communist reformation away from the orthodox religious aristocracy, but it didn't experience the same formative powers of the USA either.

    Europe lacks a liberal consciousness. It fundamentally trusts politicians and government too much, and endures an apathetic tolerance for either socialist or right wing aristocracies.

    Unless the EU is reformed with an advanced constitution, one that was structured to balance separate powers in a federal government, and to enshrine individual democratic rights and powers under the rule of law, it can never hope to unite the people of Europe into a reasonably modern society.

    And then you have the problem with the judiciary. Across Europe, their is a woeful lack of trained manpower if the task at handed needed the establishment of a federal judiciary system staffed by people sympathetic to the idea of individual rights and powers of government. You would need a judicial revolution of sorts, or the establishment of a corps of trained jurists. That would take 12 universities a generation, at least. And even then it could get ugly.

    But as marcus says, carving a 747 out of stone is more like what we will see. In order to appeal to the seething european mass, who suffer incredibly high taxation and high prices for the cost of living, the current crop of politicians will pretend to run a modern society whilst they control the markets to suit themselves.

    The USA can tax its way out of this recession. It has that room to move. Europe has deep structural problems, with political systems set up to cater for cartels of class. Like the soviet union, it is stifled and choked by government control over the economy. Too many people work for bogus government departments, doing futile and often counterproductive "work". It has no more money to pay these people, and it is reaching the limits of of what a second world state should borrow. And Europe already has massively high taxation.

    It has not yet obtained the political organization of a modern state, and so it will struggle to maintain the efficiency of a modern industrial state.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 1:49pm on 26 Mar 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    EUprisoner209456731(and associates) @78,

    I always marvel at certainty with which you profess that ‘70% of the British public are against the Lisbon Treaty’ and they should be given a say on that. I marvel particularly because, so far the British public has not been able to make their own mind as to who must govern their own country for the next 5 years, yet you are convinced that you know what 70% of the people think about the EU as a whole.

    As an example I will show you an excerpt from stats on voting intention. This is how the British public planned to vote in October 2009 and in March 2010:

    Year Conservative Labour
    Oct 2009 40% 25%
    March 2010 36% 34%

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/voting-intention

    In the space of 5 months the British public who ‘has had it enough with N-Labour and ‘Incapability’ Brown’ has made a remarkable about-turn, and is now not at al certain who to back.

    Now, to address the other often brought-up statement that people who want to vote against the EU know what it is all about. Below are two links to research done after the first and second Irish referenda:

    http://www.dfa.ie/uploads/documents/Publications/Post%20Lisbon%20Treaty%20Referendum%20Research%20Findings/post%20lisbon%20treaty%20referendum%20research%20findings_sept08.pdf

    The main reason for the No vote is given on page 4, second bullet point.

    http://www.exportseurope.ie/index.php/latest-news/34-Copy%20of%20/83-sixty-per-cent-have-knowledge-of-lisbon-treaty-poll-

    So my questions to you are:
    Why do you insists that you know what the UK people think at this precise moment?
    Why do you think that people who are against the EU know what it is all about?

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 1:56pm on 26 Mar 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    MAII

    Others have already made appropriate responses to your #107 so I won't taunt you any more, even though it's fun. All I would add (serious point, to get back on topic) is that I would never support the EU becoming a facsimile of the USA. As Benefactor put it in post 32, the EU is 27 nations in loose voluntary Union, not one country. Lisbon didn't change that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 2:09pm on 26 Mar 2010, Tasos wrote:

    Let's NOT kid ourselves. There is NO Eurozone and this is what this occasion has proven once more!

    Germany - the 2nd biggest world power in exports - simply does NOT want the Euro to be very strong and go very high simply because this affects their exports and money they get from them. Not to mention so much money they are getting from Greece (i.e. apart from the tax cheating people there are a LOT more who have to do 2-3 jobs daily to make ends meet) regarding Defense and Military equipment, dodgy submarines even lately etc and all these at times of ... 'Peace'!

    There is NO real friendship or even Co-operation in Europe and there will never be as long as there are still ... CLASHING INTERESTS!

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 2:16pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Menedemus

    Re #116

    "..never, never ever.." plus "..turkeys don't vote for Christmas.."

    Then again, as Harold Wilson remarked, 'A week is a long time in politics', so, I'm hazarding a guess 3 decades of the untramelled EU since Maastricht will this decade prove too long for UK/England Citizens.

    Actually, I'm thinking more along the lines of the next 3 or so months!

    Political scenarios change all the time: E.g. the Greek 'deal' is still warm ink on the page & already p.m. news bulletins are carrying suggestions Chancellor Merkel has had a falling out with Papendreou as to what it was he had agreed to do in addition to measures previously announced!

    Then there's the UK/England General Election: E.g. a 'hung Parliament' & all bets are off for how and what each Party will be prepared to offer in the scramble to win over the British Electorate for the inevitable 2nd election within 12 to 18 months! A 'Referendum'? Well, it is the last resort, but knaves such as those presently in Westminster will countenance it if they think it'll get them into No.10 unopposed. Then there's the balance-of-power holders: LibDems totally support the EU, but, for a crack at the Chancellor's No.11, well, who's to say a matter of principle can't be shelved!? And how about those Scottish, Welsh, Irish MPs - - Sinn Fein wont sit at Westminster - - If Adams, McGuiness & co think they can lever No.10 into passing N.Ireland over to an entirely separate Stormont (given the demographic changes predicted for this decade in that province) then the likelihood of susceptible NuLab/Cons/LibDems looking to a 'popular' mainland UK policy (i.e. a Referendum on membership) to avoid the sectarian bloodshed becomes a distinct possibility!
    Same goes for Scots & Welsh - - their Constituents will have particular ambitions then add Plaid Cymru & SNP into the mix pressuring the 650 in London - - a 'Referendum' suddenly becomes the least unpleasant initiative, especially as Westminster will use every available trick to fix the Question & Result to suit their purposes whichever of them thinks will get 'Majority power' in the Commons as an end product.

    Wilson knew what he was talking about: The next 3 months in UK/England politics could well be the most meaningful since Wilson's Referendum on Membership - - now, wouldn't that be a turn up for Historians to pore over!?

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 2:23pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Menedemus

    re #116

    Thought I'd put this separately.

    You promote the PR theme and its possible/probable benefits for the UK.
    Yet, in the same paragraph you slide over the only PR result UK presently has as its example - - 11 UKIP & 2 BNP Reps - - good to see the art of compromise politics alive & well!

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 2:36pm on 26 Mar 2010, Erlindur wrote:

    @ChrisArta (118)

    At first, I thought you were from Arta as well. Never mind. Accepting BBB- bonds is not a license to print money. All Eurozone countries have better ratings and most have state owned banks. You don't see any of them printing money. But you are right. The real news yesterday, came from the ECB and not the EU leaders.

    It is not about printing money. It is about keeping Greek bonds in your books as real assets. As long as there was a chance that ECB would stop accepting them, then there was pressure from everyone holding them to get rid of them, worsening the interest rates. As long as the ECB accepts them there is a downward pressure. Greek banks for example have as much to loose from instability in the Greek market as the government. Now, nothing stops them from buying Greek bonds at better interest rates. Same for other european banks that have heavily invested in the Greek market. We will have to wait and see what happens at the next Greek bond auction.

    As for MAII. In my mind Marcus is in retirement, in a condo somewhere in Florida, having the time of his life teasing hotblooded Europeans. He believes the basis of what he says, but instead of getting sentimental over it, he has fun making us angry with him and each other. Think of Statler and Waldorf in the muppet show. I have a couple of friends, that I'm sure that they will grow old into something like him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 3:11pm on 26 Mar 2010, EuroSider wrote:

    What this 'deal' between the EU, Greece and the IMF has shown is that the European Ministers can't manage the European single-currency.

    Very little detail has emerged from these discussion in Brussels.

    Yes, the EU has agreed to support Greece - but how? This is old news that was discussed weeks ago when the news broke. Yet, after reading various reports it has become clear that the EU is no closer to supporting a fellow member state.

    The 'deal' appears to resolve around supporting Greece if it cannot pay it's massive interest rate. However at what point does this support come into effect? When Greece can't borrow at a reasonable rate? When Greece defaults on its payments? When the bailiffs come in and start dismantling the Acropolis?

    Once again, leadership was demanded from the EU.

    Once again, we end up with a bland public statement that basically says "We stand together - as long as my country doesn't have to pay the bill"

    Greece will inevitably go its own way and make a deal with the IMF. The Greek government does not want to have to defend itself against protestors on the streets of Athens.

    Germany will veto any real help in bail-outs because the German people do not want this.

    The other struggling economies will now put pressure on the EU members for a similar deal so that THEY do not have to face their own electorates.

    The IMF and other stronger economies will now have a foot-hold in Europe, and the Euro will decline.

    This is the worse outcome that the EU could have possibly envisaged!

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 3:28pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    ChrisArta @#108

    Sorry to say but you are dreaming.

    The ECB manages the Eurozone-wide Bank Interest Rate but the volume of Euros in circulation is entirely financed by contributions into the ECB by the member nations. Germany currently contributes 25% of the volume and France about 20%. The other 14 nations make up the balance.

    Neither Germany nor France may bilaterally or unilaterally agree to inflating the Euro artificially nor can they do so in regards to quantitive easing which I think most peole mean when thay talk about printing presses and currency notes.

    If Quantitive Easing was envisioned then the ECB would have to buy Bonds on the open market for balance to any additional Euros they released into the Eurozone. This would require more inward contributions from the National Treasuries and that just ain't going to happen whilst Germany has any major part in the governance of the Euro through the ECB.

    The Euro is currently printed on behalf of the ECB in two locations (I believe?) but again the number of Euro notes in circulation is controlled by the ECB who are bound by rules that require all 16 EUrozone memners to agree to change and, in this respect yet again, Germany is not going to countenance any expediency that may adversely impact the German economy as it is THE major contributor to the ECB.

    Interestingly enough the 'Deal' agreed between the Eurozone Leaders is that the bilateral Euro nations 'Lending of last resort' (apart from the IMF share) will be be based upon the contribution shares to the ECB - thus Germany will be guaranteeing just 25% of the Eurozone bailout (if it is required!) to Greece and this is offset by agreement that future national frauds and deceptions by Eurozone nations will no longer be tolerated.

    Angela Merkel it would seem has got everything she wanted - only a relatively small share of the 22billion Euros that Greece requires need be guaranteed by Germany and Germany has ensured that the ECB/Eurozone will be more Germanic and less Francophone, less tolerant of Euro nation state deceptions and the Eurozone less "C'est la vie!" than it has been in the past!

    I don't think it has been such a great week for the French and President Sarkozy in particular, given the ascent of Merkel and Sarkozy's political problem's within France.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 3:33pm on 26 Mar 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 100 Menedemus
    Thank you for the detailed and serious comments. Shall revert very soon. I am still in the office. You know how does it happen in every dealer's box at the mere end of the working week...
    Regards, Sofia March 26th 2010 17h 32min.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 3:46pm on 26 Mar 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Details of the agreement yesterday are now published through the press, including articles here on BBC.
    Money will not automatically be sent to Greece. On the contrary, there is pressure on the government to keep the budget discipline (and reporting the facts).

    This will ease life for Angela Merkel at the important election in NordRhein-Westphalen at home, but it is not clear how the court in Karlsruhe might look at it. In the end it can be necessary for the court to weigh the national (German) interest in a strong currency against a “bending” of the treaty in the matter of subsidies.

    In this light is it comprehensible why the chancellor is seeking treaty changes. Not in order to increase the possibility for Germany to pay deficits in other Euro countries but to spell out the rules concerning stability, sanctions and steps for help, if a new crisis should occur.

    Before anybody draws “nationalistic” conclusions of this: Some economic experts in Germany see the agreement as a confirmation of German EU policy, and at the same time such rules might repair some of the damages Merkel has caused in the centre of the union.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 3:55pm on 26 Mar 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    cool_brush_work @#125

    I don't know if PR is better or worse than FPTP. I do not promote PR as being better or worse than FPTP. I merely state the fact that PR is being considered for the UK in respect of the Westminster Parliamentary Elections.

    What I do know is that PR is in use for the UK within the European Parliamentary MEP elections and has resulted in two MEPs being elected from the BNP.

    As an extreme nationalist political party I would say that the use of PR has enabled a nasty party to become more successful and, given the British cultural characteristics for acceptance and generally being bonhomie by nature this was an odious result for Britain even if it was a natural consequence of PR.

    I believe the success of the UKIP MEPs might have occurred whether PR or FPTP was in use for MEPs being elected - the UKIP being less nationalistic and a lot less nasty than the BNP and standing for a purpose that meets the needs/stands up for the views of a larger section of the UK population than that of the BNP when it comes to European Union matters.

    I accept that FPTP should give us strong Central Governmemt within the United Kingdom but I now expect that the forthcoming General Election will produce a "hung" parliament. If that is the result of the Election then FPTP will actually achieve the creation of government by concensus between two of the largest parties or more. We might as well already have Proportional Representation in that case.

    However, whatever political voting system is used, ELections always result in some people getting what they want and others feeling denied of their needs/wants/aspirations and, as always, politicians always betray their promises to their electorates whichever system is used to get them elected.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 4:41pm on 26 Mar 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #126

    "As for MAII. In my mind Marcus is in retirement, in a condo somewhere in Florida, having the time of his life teasing hotblooded Europeans. He believes the basis of what he says, but instead of getting sentimental over it, he has fun making us angry with him and each other. Think of Statler and Waldorf in the muppet show. I have a couple of friends, that I'm sure that they will grow old into something like him"

    I cant shake the image of an intern at Fox News.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 6:21pm on 26 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Menedemus

    Re #131

    "..politicians always betray their promises to their electorates.."

    Very true at National level.

    At EU level they really have not broken promises: They do not need to do so as not one of them has had to make a promise/commitment/offer to the Citizen Electorate since Maastricht in 1992 brought the Single Union for which no Mandate was sought from the Electorate & Brussels obviously decided that was the way forward!

    Can't follow your 'hung' Parliament so UK may as well have PR argument: PR allows fringe elements far too much say in the management of a country - - several European Nations have ineffective Government because of reliance on 3, 4, 5 Parties 'compromising' - - elsewhere, anyone doubt Israel would not be building that settlement in East Jerusalem just as 'talks' begin, but for the religious extreme in the PR-coalition Israeli cabinet holding the 'balance'!? Urgh!

    Then there's the actual EU Parliament: A worse example of effective Parliamentary scrutiny of Government could not be found! MEPs are so busy creeping to & crawling over each other in their political 'blocks' they couldn't even be bothered to do anything about 16 of the last 20 EU Budgets failing audit!

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 6:49pm on 26 Mar 2010, Tortilein wrote:

    I don't even know where to start.

    1. Someone wrote Germans were hating the Serbs. My ex-boyfriend is from Serbia, his whole family is living in Germany and none of them ever felt any hate from Germans. Okay, there is some trouble between Croatians and Serbians within Germany but the Germans don' exactly hate anyone of them, why should we? When the former people of Yugoslavia were at war with each other, I couldn't care less who started it or who did what. For me, everyone of them, be it a Serb or a Croatian, who came to Germany was a victim of this war.

    2. As a German-Colombian who speaks German and Spanish as native languages I was following yesterday a debate in a spanish newspaper where commentators were blaming Germans for unsolidarity with Greece, Spain etc. And I thought why? Is it because Zapatero promised that Spain would also share a burden? I mean what would happen if Germany started to tumble? Would these countries give one single Euro to help Germany? No, they wouldn't because it is only solidarity when others pay...

    3. And I am getting sick if I hear, be it from our politicians or foreigners here in this debate, that Germany is doing extremly well with the Euro. And that's simply not true, not every German is a boss of Porsche, BMW or Deutsche Bank. They may be happy with the common currency, for most of us ordinary citizens goods got far more expensive while salaries didn't rise. Ordinary Germans simply have no advantage of the Euro.

    4. Germany exports too much and consumes far less. Yes, that is complety right. But this French politician who said that doesn't tell us anything new. In fact most of us are not able to buy much apart of the food we need, the apartment we live in etc. Salaries in Germany are low and most / a lot of us are asking for a minimum wage for centuries.

    5. If Germany is doing so well with the EU, the Euro etc. then we have to ask: What is Germany then? 82 million people or a dozen of important coperations? Because I wouldn't exactly say that the people are doing well with what our politicians are imposing on us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 11:35pm on 26 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Tortilla

    I think it is probably true that Germans don't hate Serbs. They are too busy hating Turks. Now if that mosque the Turks want to build in Cologne were going to be twice as big and tall as the cathedral instead of half as tall, I'll bet 99.99% of the Germans there would oppose it and would be very angry about it and at the Turks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 00:12am on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    "They are too busy hating Turks. Now if that mosque the Turks want to build in Cologne were going to be twice as big and tall as the cathedral instead of half as tall, I'll bet 99.99% of the Germans there would oppose it and would be very angry about it and at the Turks."

    It's funny you should mention that, because that's exactly what is happening, except there is no wide-spread anger at the Turkish people building mosque, but wide-spread appreciation, with a few scattered individuals whingeing about it from the sidelines. Those are political extremists, the sort of which you would find in any country.

    Here's a little hint for next time - if you want to tar an entire nation with the same brush - at least choose a good brush.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 00:28am on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC;

    Tell me it isn't true that Turks who were born in Germany aren't full fledged German citizens with equal rights and treated equally with other Germans. Tell me it isn't true that Turks who have lived in Germany for decades and speak fluent German can't become German citizens.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 00:40am on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    According to German law (as amended in German citizenship law of 1999), anyone who

    - was born in Germany if their parents have a right of permanent residence in Germany

    and/or

    - has German ancestry

    and/or

    - is married to a German

    and/or

    has been living in Germany for 8 years, swears allegiance to the German constitution and speaks German

    and/or

    is a citizen of another E.U. country

    is eligible for German citizenship. In each one of these criteria, German law would require the applicant to forfeit their old nationality.

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 01:11am on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC you didn't answer the question which I presume means that Turks cannot become citizens of Germany unless one of their parents is a German. Turkey is not in the EU. They therefore do not qualify.

    Other than the law, how many Turks live in Germany, how many Turks or people of Turkish descent are German citizens?

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 01:21am on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Well, as stated above, if their parents have a right of permanent residence, they get the citizenship. But then it becomes a matter of choice. My mother, for instance chose to do it, but she forfeited her Turkish nationality for it. To her, it was only natural, because she was born and raised in Germany and her German was much better than her English. But when it is a matter of choice, then it is really a choice and not an obligation. Many Turkish people, have chosen not to forfeit their Turkish passports and are therefore living as foreigners in their own country, the country they grew up in.

    As to the prescise number of Turkish people who have decided to remain Turkish after several generations in German, I do not know the precise figure, but I understand the figure is too high by any measure.

    That does not mean, however, that they are treated as second-class citizens. The main disadvantage is they cannot vote in national and regional elections. Aside from that, they have all the rights and responsibilities of a German citizen.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 01:33am on 27 Mar 2010, Rolf Habich wrote:

    The EU suffers from a fundamental construction flaw.

    In any ordinary well-functioning club you have rules that are to be obeyed. Misconduct leads to heavy sanctions or exclusion. No members are expected to bear a heavier burden than the rest. No members are allowed to be too lazy, to bribe (or let themselves be bribed), to squander.

    Now here we go.

    It is as simple as this:

    The Greeks cheated - in the beginning, and later on, too.
    The supervision was lousy. So the Greeks got away with it.

    What do perpetrators usually do when they get away with their actions? Right. They continue to perpetrate.

    So much for the Greeks. (Individually, by the way, lovely poeople, most of them.)

    Now for the Germans. "Disciplined" - well supposedly that is the epithet they cannot ever escape. (It's just as relevant as calling the English "stiff", or Italians "happy-go-lucky".) Well then: "Disciplined" - not too bad for a club member.

    Now if you see a club member being "asked" to contribute and contribute on behalf of other club members, what will a "disciplined" - ahem: fair - member addressed in such a manner do? Right. Contribute.

    Which means: Pay. And pay. The contributing - paying - club member enjoys the experience of being applauded for his actions - (especially since there has been - for decades - some truly ugly history looming). Sometimes the contributor hears some quaint chuckling from others behind his shoulders.

    It just so happens that the stout contributor slides into a mess and is having quite unprecedented difficulties. He struggles, sweating. Badly for a while, and it does not really stop.

    And then he can't help realizing that other club members are having a ball. They are not having balls really, but they are really having a ball. Not sweating at all.

    And this is the magic moment. Our contributor is beginning to change. Not sweating any more or at least not only sweating, but swearing. He realizes hes been fooled for a long time.

    Now, in spite of certain inhibitions ("unpleasant past") our contributor
    is aware of the fact that it is not fair to make a fool of him. And surprise, surprise, and alas, alas: He says: "Enough. You can fool Germans some of the time, but you cannot fool Germans all of the time."

    Now we are in for a differnet ball game. All of us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 01:54am on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC, how about the disadvantage that the skinheads beat them up and the police do nothing about it. Probably to the point where the victims don't even report the crimes more often than not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 02:13am on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII, I was meaning to tell you this before but I thought I would come across as a bit rude. Somebody has to point this outn to you though. Your idea of Europe and the nations within Europe are a simplistic cliché: skindheads in Germany, kilts in Scotland, hooligans in England, the mafia in Italy and baguette sticks in France. And the whole E.U. a dysfunctional mess about to collapse.

    I do not expect a U.S. citizen to be fully informed about Europe but your ideas about Europe would be analogous to a European thinking that all Americans walk around in half-cocked stetsons shooting Indians and black people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 09:34am on 27 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    Chris Camp,

    I think most American liberals (left) are not here in this blog posting because,

    In the USA, conservatives (this is an amazing fact) are the majority as far as Americans interested in foreign affairs and/or News in general..at least according to statistics.

    Our "left" are remarkably ignorant about the outside world. Scratch a liberal and find an alienated ignorant person who believes life begins and ends inside the USA borders...

    This is my take..because liberals are considered "scary" people here they wont admit to being one..

    its like homophobia ...strike out homo and insert liberal ...people are afraid to be shunned by our society, therefore they are politically alienated from politics AND World history..ie current events... they feel excluded from history,

    Sadly, have you ever wondered who the 50% are that don't vote in America?

    Alienated, and proudly ignorant (its not cool to think about these topics)..liberals, perhaps?

    (think of all the minorities in the Democratic party who feel as if official history excludes THEIR history(ies). Therefore Europe holds no facination, most likely)

    and think of all the ex-hippy generation people who are extremely disappointed in the Reagan years and thereafter..

    Perhaps Obama is way out in front--successful--and "liberals" don't even get it...yet. Maybe, things will change, now:)

    David

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 10:22am on 27 Mar 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    It is worth reading Tortelein at 134 with care.

    This is why it is important to understand the deep structural problem with the Eurozone. Tortelein describes Germany, actual Germany for the germans who work. This is the "engine" of Europe. This is the place where the recovery will be lead.

    Notice precisely what Tortelein says about the spending power of working germans. They have trouble buying decent food. The earn low wages and have huge taxation.

    Germany has no room to move, in terms of borrowing. It is already squeezing its people too hard. If it squeezes them any further, they wont even be able to work properly.

    So that means whatever debt Germany is taking on now is very much the last throw of the dice for the german state. Is Germany in a position to underwrite several even worse positions throughout the Eurozone?

    Several peple on this thread are claiming that the Euro's for greece were not simply printed out of thin air, but they don't say where they came from if they were not printed by the ECB.

    We don't know the details of the "money for greece scandal", and until we do I'm convinced that the ECB has resolved to print the money and then, hopefully, reabsorb it when it gets paid back.

    That is the only way all the countries of the eurozone could be said to take the punishment equally, and it would spare Merkel the indignity of being the one who agreed that Germans should work for the greeks.

    But anyway, the money is coming from somewhere, even if out of thin air, and it must show up on somebodys' books.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 2:11pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC; So all of the reports about how Europeans hate each other including BBC's reports are bunk? How the Slovaks discriminate against the Hungarians in their country? How the Basque can't stand the Spanish and want their own country? How the Catholics in Ireland and Northern Ireland have fought the Protestants and Brits for 400 years and there are still barriers all over Belfast where you can't cross the street from one side to the other because the walls keep the Catholics and Protestants from fighting street wars? How the Flemish and Walloons in Belgium won't even talk to each other or bother to learn each other's language? How the Bulgarians and Greeks hate the Turks? How Gypsies are still treated as outsiders everywhere in Europe? How Moslems from the Middle East and North Africa are mistreated and discriminated against in France? All those photos of them rebelling a few years ago burning the place down faked? How Italy is the most racist country in Europe? How the Spanish taunt African soccer player with racial epithets every time they play in Spain? How the Brits whose ancestry was in Pakistan consider themselves to be Pakistanis and not Brits because they are so alienated and disaffected from the mainstream? All untrue? All exaggerations? All lies? You could go on with these stories of racism and ethnic hatred all day and putting it in the context of a continent that has an undisputable history of it going back thousands of years it is hard to believe there isn't at least some measure of turth in it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 2:36pm on 27 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re145: DemocracyThread, I read Tortelein's message - it really tells me nothing.

    1st Germans were the Europeans who even above British led the EU massacre Jugoslavia in the most criminal way. Germany was the first in that satanic dance of unilateral declarations of independencies of Slovenia (by the majority of Slovenians dragging some Serbian and Croatian populations whose voice was not to be asked in a referendum), Croatia (dragging a signigicant Serbian population living in purely Serbian territories - these were all ethnically cleansed about a million people!!!!!), Bodnia (by a minority of muslims!!!!! - draggin a majority of Serbians and Croatians), Kosovo (by a minority of mafia Kosovars ruling over a majority of Kosovars and fighting since the 1960s a dirty war against Serbians for which Tito would do nothing, since it served his interests of limiting Serbians outside the artificially small Serbian federal state, till his death in 1980).

    German press transformed Serbians as monsters for fighting for their survival in pro-Nazi Croatia and pro-Taliban Bosnia (Turks were sending arms, Saoudis were paying Bosnians millions, sending them also Talibans, to fight their war). Even if one does not want to see that way he cannot but admit that German press accused Serbians as monsters for having done not anything worse than what Bosnians and Croatians and Kosovars did.

    And it was Germans (and the average German was 100% ok with that, even proud, never heard anyone opposing) who sent their army there, and it was Germans who called in the Americans.

    So stop the lies and the hypocricy, it is disgusting:

    Spare us the "how much neutral Germans have been".

    - If the average German people were neutral to Serbians then they would
    have criticised their government's decision to pay millions to Slovenia and Croatia two non-EU countries causing wars and the death of millions
    ... all that at a time Germany was strained due to their unification.

    - If the average German people were neutral to Serbians then they would
    have criticised their government's decision to pay million sending their armies in there.
    ... all that at a time Germany was strained due to their unification.

    PPPPpppplllleease! Spare us the justifications and explanations.

    There is only 1 way you can convince me: that Germans are indeed the perfect sheeps and simply accept whatever propaganda the government passes on them. In that way, ok one can say so that in the previous examle Germans did not want to pay but their governement say "no you will pay for helping the breaking up of Jugoslavia" and in this case they do not want to pay and their government says "yes you are right, we will make sure you won't pay".

    ... problem is that nobody asked the Germans any money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So why do they cry out loudly straining their pharynxes? Nobody asked their money. Greece asked simply a loan from the ECB. It is an EU country, it is entitled to do so.

    PS: I have proven with BBC info (and none so far refuted it), that German working people work less than Greeks, are EU-taxed less than Greeks and receive higher salaries while have profited much since a varying 50% and up to 70% of the aid comes back to their corporations.

    And corporations employ the average German.

    I am sorry. But after 1000s of messages here few if any of you realise the whole picture of the game.

    I will say 1 thing. Greece has these endemic problems 30 years now and they got inflated while being in EEC/EU... yet this crisis came only after the previous government decided to sign a contract with Russians and another with Chinese to try a different approach. The government fell, Greece got bad press, the new government is led by a US citizen who has declared on Greek state TV 4-5 years back that he does not care about Greece or EU but about "a global governance" (thus he is a kid of the international investors/bankers - thus his affection for mingling the IMF)... and that in the whole current affair Angela and Giorgakis worked hand in hand in the back scene to make a compromise while shouting at each other in front of the cameras.

    Poor us Greeks, poor us europeans...

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 3:45pm on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    David,

    I think it is perfectly normal for an American not to know as much as Europe as the average European does. I am sure I do not know as much about America as the average American. In schools, children tend to learn the history of their own country and continent and only take a cursory look at other continents. I suspect it's the same all over the world. But all the Americans I have met so far do know the basics. Basics such as: yes, the Europeans do have running water and electricty in their households and no, they do not ride around on donkeys anymore. So I am surprised to meet an American like MAII who is obviously not aware of many of the basic facts.

    MAII,

    I am unaware of any BBC report that stated all Europeans hate each other. Which particular report are you referring to? As to antagonism - of course it exists in Europe. Europe is a complicated place. We are sitting on the western edge of the Eurasian continental platterm, 27 nations, all of them with different histories, languages, religions, political systems and traditions - what is surprising is not how much disagreement there is in Europe. What is truly surprising and miraculous is how well we often get on with each other.

    In 2002, the water levels in the river Elbe went up to very unsual levels. This created a huge deluge in the German city of Dresden. What happened after that was very moving, even for an old cynic like myself. People poured in from all over Germany and Europe to help the people in Dresden. People who did not come to Dresden to help donated money. Help came from all over Europe, from Switzerland, Poland, the Czech republic, the Netherlands, even places as far away as Ireland and Norway. Could the people of New Orleans rely on their fellow Americans as much as the people of Dresden could rely on their fellow Europeans?

    Ever since the disaster at Chernobyl happened in 1986, families all over western Europe have been accepting Ukranian and Belorusian children into their families to allow them to recuperate from the fallout. It makes me wonder which long-term efforts the people of American are going to be willing to commit to to help the permanently crippled nation of Haiti.

    And when BMW decided to sell Rover, putting thousands of jobs in the West Midlands at risk, German trade unionists came to England to protest alongside their British colleagues in solidarity. Do Americans ever cross state lines only to protest in favour of people they do not even know?

    Yes, there is hatred and antagonism in Europe. But not anymore than there is hatred and antagonism in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. And there is kindness, too and not any less than in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. It is ludicrous to say "the" Greeks and Romanians hate the Turks, just because a couple of right-wing hacks and extremists have taken a shine to calling the Turks "uncivilised" and "barbarians". Does that mean all Greeks hate Turks? Surely not. Basing the notion that "Greeks hate Turks" on a couple of fascists having the arrogance to call the respective other nation "uncivilised" is like basing the statement "all Americans are hateful racists and extremists" on the tea-party movement in America. All people do not follow that movement and all Turks and Greeks do not hate each other.

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 4:05pm on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    About this silly myth about "hatred" against Serbs. British people have been accused of that too and being one of those souther Balkan nations, eternally subscribed to an identity based on victimhood, it is only natural that Germans are accused of "hating" Serbs.

    Let us demolish the first myth - there was no opposition in German to the war against Yugoslavia. The most prominet politician in German who spoke out against the war against Yugoslavia in 1999 was one Oscar Lafontaine who drew huge crowds to his speeches. Universities organised protests against the war. The Green party's youth organisation and the SPD lost scores of members due to the war. Of course that does not sit well with the victim mentality of the souther Balkans, as it is far easier to feel sorry for yourself if you just tell yourself and others that the whole world is against you.

    The second myth - "Yugoslavia was only fighting for its survival". Really? Who was Yugoslavia? Only the Serbs? Or did the Croatians, Bosnians, Slovenians and Albanians, whom Belgrade wanted to give second-class-citizen status belong to it, too? Yugoslavia started falling apart when Belgrade started to make moves to subvert Croatia's and Kosovo's regional autonomy, a very transparent attempt at annexing the regions permanently and creating a greater Serbia. The Slovenians, Croatians, Bosnians and Kosovars did not want to have anything to do anymore with that state that was taking their rights away and was obviously trying to give one ethnic group preferntial treatment. They wanted out and Belgrade reacted with violence. It placed a gambit and it lost. That happens and the people in the southern Balkans should be very grateful - is this one not a true diamond in the great treasury of tear-jerking victimisation myths?

    The third myth is Germany's alleged improper behaviour during the break-up of Yugoslavia. Germany is geographically closer to Yugoslavia than the United States, the UK and France. It was bearing the brunt of the fallout of the beginning atrocities in the Yugoslavian wars for independence. Kosovars, Croats, Slovenians, Bosnians, even Serbs started streaming in, seeking shelter from the horror that was developing in the region. Belgrade did not want to listen to anyone's advice. It just carried on and on with its militaristic approach. Germany did not, as the souther Balkan victimisation myth would have it, seize the first opportunity to recognise Slovenia and Croatia. It was confronted with a situation that forced Germany to act. It was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    All this is not going to do anything about the souther Balkans victimisation mentality. Perhaps it was the Orthodox Church that brought about that way of thinking. Perhaps it's an Ottoman legacy. Down there, it's never your own fault. It's always someone else and you are the victim. Perhaps an interesting field of study for an anthropoligist. Be that as it may, even the most professional of all subscribed victims will have to listen to some differing opinion from time to time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 5:07pm on 27 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Perhaps because it's easier to decimate Jugoslavia first, in order to include it into a bigger EU entity.

    Small states are always easier to handle, besides, perhaps, one can play on the inner contradictions between them.

    Paris is worth a messa/service", so to say, even at the inconvenience of run-aways from war to invade neighbours.

    "Jugoslavia was Germany's closest neighbour, it would never". Well the genuine concern about the well being of this "nearest neighbour" is then a new positive trait in German information field, a novelty un-observed previously.

    Perhaps Chris Camp it's simply because you are a Turkish-German-British combination by fam. tree, that's why you have come up with all those traditionally "love them Serbs" "perhaps".

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 5:30pm on 27 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "all Turks and Greeks do not hate each other"
    Surely not. They only fly over "each other" in military planes, from great love, and resist including "each other" into the EU because of Cyprus. Otherwise peace and quiet.
    Likewise, the British and the Germans adore Serbs, who will say a word against, and this love is mutual.

    Anyway, this might be governments' decision level, all clever governments, not backed up by their respective population opinion.

    The real attachments, on the non-governmental level, the essence of it :o)))) how to say, the great and mighty "national referendum" :o)))) - can be easily observed come any Eurovision.
    :o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 6:18pm on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    @ WebAliceinwonderland - it would be very nice of you if you did not make any assumptions about how my ethnic background might have informed my political views. I do not know anything about your ethnic background and I am not going to ask you, either. Your blatant apologetics theft, mass rape and genocide that you frequently broadcast in your postsh would be completely unacceptable, no matter where you're from.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 9:25pm on 27 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 154. At 10:16pm on 27 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC;

    WebAlice is a Russian who lives in Saint Petersburg. She's European but gives us a different perspective from those further west.

    Do you know why Armenia is so chummy with Russia? Because it views Russia as its protector from another Turkish genocide. Now as I heard it, 2 million Armenians were slaughtered by Turkish soldiers during WWI. The excuse the Turks give who of course say it was not genocide is that they were just victims during the fighting against the rebels. That's the same reason the Serbs gave for all the non Serbian Yugoslavians they murdered in their genocide to build a greater Serbia. Euorpe, one big happy family.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 10:32pm on 27 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp, perhaps, you are right, in taking ethnic issues and country of allegiance out of the dispute.

    That's just me; I think there is more substance in opinion of a blogger about who others understand where he comes from. The land and in making up his opinions from, out of which base.

    I don't believe in abstract un-biased "judges", visitors from another universe. Whose views are un-shaped by origin. Which you claim to be.

    Even mechanised computers are made by people, I won't trust a Deep Blue to "judge" countries, taking an "I am a neutral therefore my position is objective" stand.
    _________________________
    2.

    Your blatant apologetics theft, mass rape and genocide that you frequently broadcast in your posts

    !

    You have - frequently, blatanly, called Russia a country that exercises mass rape and genocide on nations.
    Referred to the times - deep in back centuries
    - 20th century
    - and present.

    (I excuse myself for wanting to find the roots of such wide sweep and negativism; what bug bit you)

    Nevermind. I never excused Stalin for the genocide of nations. What I object to is the way you clipped modern Russia to the old monster.

    Check the string of own posts. You mean "Stalin" - "Polish the Poles, invaded, split, genoside" - you don't say "Stalin".

    You say "Russia".

    Every second word in your posts is "Russia".

    You simply hate the country.



    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 10:54pm on 27 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    What's negative to one person might be very positive to the next person. I think the right of the Polish people to have their dignity returned to them along with compensation from Germany and Russia is a positive thing.

    The right of the Greek people to have their dignity returned is a positive thing. I am very indignant about the fact that almost no compensation has been paid to Greek victims and that recent developments have made compensation to Greek victims/survivors of the German invasion all but impossible.

    Another thing about hatred - it is a human condition, but it is not something that I feel in internet forums. Disgust, revulsion? Yes, when people make openly pro-Saddam or pro-Stalin statements. Who can defend these mass murderers? And where is the shame. What is conspicuously absent on these boards is German people making apologies for Hitler. I think German is far advanced when it comes to the skill of self-criticism and coming to terms with the past. When I visit my relatives in Turkey, I see nothing of the sort. The Armenian massacres are brushed aside with one of those "terrible things happen in wars" statements.

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 11:48pm on 27 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    I was moderated earlier for reciting a song and saying the name of the .....

    to you, Web Alice,

    part of it was

    I see my life come shining
    from the west down to the east
    any day now, any day now,
    I shall be released.

    Anyway, I like both Russia And Germany, both are awakening these days to their possibilities.

    Also, I know a Serb who dislikes Germans (the Serb is online ..nice person actually) but so many people interpret things in different ways.

    But, how about some Russian jokes? I do like them and your songs.:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 00:28am on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Curious how dignity is returned by money.
    Very un-Russian idea; I am tempted to make a broad generalisation here .... :o))))

    But I won't pick at the words; so you simply want Russia's money for Poles?
    You explained it in quite round-about the way then.

    To me this whole Polish-organised buzz excuse me for the wording looks like a PR war, an attempt of public flogging of a nation, by hand picking her old ruler out of the past, and building up a campaign around it.

    Recruiting voices on the side to the chamber choir, and recruiting successfully (just look at yourself as a vivid sample).

    A country a scape-goat. Int'l public flogging.

    Chris Camp these attempts to organise "resistance" are doomed and shall fail. Are failing already.
    I'll explain you why; in Europe it was tried twice. The Jewish and the Germans. Western Germans, mind it, though I don't know what you did to the Eastern ones, once you got them back in. :o)

    We didn't victimize the Eastern part in our time, because any psychologist would tell you any additioanl push and they'd go completely insane, there were such fancy psychological processes passing in them, the depths of the nation surfacing in internal processing in such grotesque scary clouds. fancy combinations. resulting in such forms. that no need how to say save God from adding extra stress. and who wants a whole insane country inside the block on hands.

    Westerners could at least run away from looking at each other. go someplace abroad and forget the war. Mix with other people and dilute the load. Or indulge in simple life pleasures, healing the wound of failure.
    Easterners were boxed, the only place they could go stroll about was Eastern Europe they occupied or the same Poland and Moscow, great memoir visiting places big relief. And no consolation of good beer or a good car on a good autobahn.

    But I suppose the necessity of feeling the guilt was explained to younger East German generations, courtesy of them joining the rules of the game of the other half.

    Anyway, distracted.

    The attempt will fail, because the Jewish, in their time, did not have an own country in Europe. Therefore were taken. And we - do.
    An own country, whatever nice it is :o) - is a thing.

    Unlike Germans, we didn't lose a European war. First defeat a country, then have fun. Without Russian in-put - a European biggie country is un-defeatable. We don't plan on persecuting ourselves, so, voila. Dead end :o))))

    This war initited against modern Russia is un-winnable, by definition. Its fumes only spoil the climate, for all.

    Overall, curiois improvement.
    Before there were war times and peace times. Peasants making up majority in every European country used newspapers only to roll up tobacco in them... or I don't know. Glue a picture onto a trunk lid inside.
    It was straightforward, either a war or a rest time.

    Now there is continuous activity, PR wars on all fronts, without interruption. Lev Tolstoy wouldn't be able to write War and Peace.
    He'd have to call it War and PR war times.

    Chris Camp you don't, though, wide brush negate "whole Turkey in all the times of its existence" based on genoside of Armenians; no?
    You don't wide-brush Germany "in all its conditions in all ages" based on pulling out one of their rulers?
    Which modern country, overall, will stand attempts of public int'l flogging carousal, based on when "ruled by from till"? Russia is no worse no better in this respect.

    It is natural for people to protect own nest, because they live there. And want to live, strangely. They depend on it.

    That is why I said it is important to know in this blog where people come from. When opinion tend to move to the extreme end, old timers here habitually make a discount, introduce a mental correction, a factor, on the country of allegiance. You excuse others, being able to introduce a correction, and filter the quality of info, in this way.

    I always had a problem here with "abstract neutrals". Very radical they prove to be :o)))) - and nothing to excuse them for ! :o))))

    The most neutral here is democracythreat, but even with him you make a correction for the Church, the nobility and political parties. And Britain :o)))), apparently, for having high content of the last two :o))))
    Even democracythreat sins by writing in his ? say every 10 post "Switzerland is good because...". Now, I agree that "Switzerland is good". But definitely 10 per cent less than it is, a correction, for democracythreat currently living there and being personally happy there.
    People tend to return to the places where they are happy, they think it's the place may be :o)))) allowed for that to happen.
    (just an example sorry used you democracythreat. example of happiness, if this may console you :o))))

    Chris Camp this is ? I don't know whatsome Macchiavellian no Jesuit tricky planning - to pull out Stalin and make Russians protect the old monster, by connecting him to "all Russia in all times" and have fun at us looking how awkwardly we do it.
    And we do - beyond our will - because it is not an attack on old bones, who's interested in Stalin ashes give me a break - we haven't seen anyone eager to excavate him and beat! beat!
    no, it is an attack on modern Russia, on us. By means of old monster. Not even Russian!
    That's the beauty of the idea!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 00:56am on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    You think Poland is objective, wants to pin-point and crucify Stalin? That no one ever does what he did, to put dots above i and cross the t-s and all?

    No way. It's a PR war against modern Russia. The proof is - yourself. You were hijacked. Look how the concept of "Russia" became for you one big "theft genocide and mass rape throughout history". You think it happened by itself, a result of your own un-biased opinion forming?
    I think you compliment own ability to make an un-biased opinion extra then.
    For that matter, German mass rape of Russian women in occupation does not alarm you? Nobody told you, about German-Russian children post war.
    Why nobody did? Because we don't wage a PR war on Germany.

    You think German realisation of own deficiences is quality, you can rely on it, no need to bother yourself in this respect, Given: "Germans are sorry; Russians aren't."

    I think we did better in this respect, on understanding own crimes and "deficiencies". Nobody grabbed us at the? like a kitten, at the neck, and did not put nose to the corner, like school teachers did to kids - "Now say you are sorry!" - "I am sorry, I am! I won't anymore!"

    If you want such kind of "apologies", satisfying you as "genuine" ...
    I mean. Blessed are the ones who have Faith!

    Nothing like "genuine regret" downed on Germany, in 5 years, "oh what am I doing?" - until they were beaten to small splinters. That's forced realisation.

    Nobody subjected Russia to that, and still we debunked Stalin and his approach to ruling people. Long time ago, since 1960-s not a single statue of him or a portrait stayed in the country, all busts de-busted, all books which had his and his Co paranoija were destroyed, taken out of libraries, his pictures torn out of all school-books. As step 1. Step 2 was perestroyka, when he was formally back to the school-books, as a monster example. Nobody discussed him, old un-interesting, forgotten as a nightmare.

    And recently hop la la Poland puuls him out by the ears out of the age and puts Russia under her nose: enjoy!
    And then wonders why Russians "protect him".

    It's a war, an aggression against us, un-provoked by any thing Russia did post Perestroyka. We won't pay any black-mailers and aggressors. Aggressors are to be dealth with - aggressively.

    Come to think about it, I don't even think we lost the Cold War. Hello Mavrelius. The one who loses doesn't get better. I see it we have swapped the old communist regime for democracy - have gained - had won!

    However suspicious this Russian "democracy" is - it is still tons better than Communist partry ule across the board. That's a sheer gain. A victory. :o)


    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 02:25am on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And, a side note, how do you think, Chris Camp, that Russia terrorises Belorussia?

    So that you know, Belorussia sew? sui-s? Russia non-stop, in the Commonwealth court of justice - and always wins! And gets paid.

    Because our Commonwealth Court, you don't know even that Commonwealth here exists, formally more than in nature, but functions mysteriously still - Belarus is part of it, has always been, past 20 yrs. In case they forgot to inform anyone :o))))),

    well this Commonwealth court is in Minsk! We always lose. :o)))))
    Lukashenko was wise, back in the beg., negotiated the court to be in Minsk. (no doubt sorry for reminding the name, guided by the old Stalin wisdom "Doesn't matter how they vote - matters who counts" :o)))))
    It is very, very efficient institution. 1 week before a country applies (if that country is Belarus :o) - and the verdict! Unheard of court efficiency in the world. :o)))) Lukashenko prides at the Commonwealth Court efficiency.

    Right now there is also a session, 5th day expires :o))), Belarus sewed us on tariffs on something, "by the Commonwealth law of 1992". Just wait 2 days more and bet on the outcome. Another 20 mln dollars gone no doubt.

    Now, human rights issues this court is not about, nothing like exists in the EU. You'd agree it'd be funny :o)))), Belorussia judging Russia on our human rights state :o))))) or, OK anyone in the vicicnity :o)))) we've all been honest I'd say :o)))) simply skipped it as hallucinogenic.
    It's on economic issues between countries exclusively, who owes whom.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 02:42am on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    A small point of history but just a detail;

    "Come to think about it, I don't even think we lost the Cold War. Hello Mavrelius. The one who loses doesn't get better."

    The cold war was not fought against Russia, it was fought against the USSR. The USSR no longer exists. It went out of business, bankrupt, closed up shop 18 years ago. Vlad Putin said the end of the USSR was the worst tragedy in history. He'd like to bring it back. Maybe he'd like to have the cold war back too. I don't think that will happen.

    "Lukashenko was wise, back in the beg., negotiated the court to be in Minsk."

    I have a friend in Minsk, who has a freind in Pinsk, whose friend in Omsk has friend in Tomsk with friend in Aquaminsk....to me the news will run, yes to me the news will run...

    And ever since I meet this man my life is not the same
    And Nikoli Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name ai!
    Nikoli Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name ai! :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 02:49am on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    Now you can watch what was once our favorite stereotypes of Russian spies, Boris and Natasha. Too bad there isn't more of them on youtube. You don't see them much anymore.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHUiCYAE2DY

    You can look at the others, there used to be hundreds of them on TV.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 03:07am on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, what you mean, "released"? Nothing like that in relation to you or me knock knock knock we all hope. Theoretically. :o)

    Jokes? Gavin Hewitt wrote "just the other day met a Greek woman who said had to bribe 100 euros to a state doctor for simply doing his job".

    ROFL.
    100 euros! if only :o))))
    The amount I bribed :o)))) last week seeing docs. well not bribed state ones (useless by definition), bribed private ones, who wanted to fool own clinics where they work. Let me see, 1, 2, 3, 4 - beyond cash desk to the pocket. 1 - to the cash desk, all decent, formal, with receits. Makes 1 in 5. :o)
    One fooled me :o))))) hope not forever, eh, crucially, finally. Idiotic prescriptions, idiotic plan of activities, all highly suspicious not only absence of receits alas and a single paper written by doc, all orally - "here is a piece of paper to you, write down yourself what you are to do, OK" ? (they don't like leaving traces, in case one collapses from their "treatment"), the worst of all checked up opinions on docs at night in St. Petersburg forums - may haor stood up on end - she's been fiored from 2 clinic before, the last time just 2 weeks ago, and the director of the last place of her work publicly apologised to customers, and most of them were threatening with court cases for ruin to their health. One child lost, for example.
    Now I am sitting thinking eh, many things.
    ________________________________

    Anyway. Jokes. ?

    "It is always difficult for a philosopher to find his place in life, as he still hasn't defined himself on the main issue, in the first place: what for he lives the hell overall? "
    :o)

    "I don't see the sense in that sport, lady's curling, absolutely.
    I mean, there'd be some sense, if they, I don't know, say, played "for un-dressing" ....:o))))


    Jesus still loves you!
    But what it costs him (takes of him)! by now ....


    Honesty is inability to quickly come up with other variants :o))))))

    Modern generation doesn't differ from the previous one at all. They also grow up. Also go to liceum/high school. Also smoke their first cigarette. Also leave home. Also get married. Also have children. Only in reverse order.
    :o))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 03:26am on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    O, remembered one more. A competition was announced for the best emblem of the Tax Inspectorate. With a big margin is leading the draft where are presented two criss-cross leeches, on the background of the portrait of Pavlik Morozov.

    :o)))))))

    oj. oj, David. oj . aj. I am sorry! I forgot!

    I'll leave it, anyway. ? :o)))))))
    Anyway you don't have any "Pavlik Morozov" :o))) small Pavel Morozov, who Soviet books tried to sell to children as examplarous example :o)))) in ab 1930-s. A status national figure here :o)))) a set expression.

    A peasant child (mythological) who reported his own daddy to noble Komissars :o))))) for being a kulak, hiding his wealth from the state :o)))). Daddy hid some bags of potatoes I think , in the hut cellar, or some cows? in the forest? un-willing to give them to "common property" of kolkhoz. forgot what . so the dear politically correct kid of about 8 years old - first of course tried to talk his daddy, into proper communist ideas, they taught him in his advanced school. But daddy proved to be an incorrigible peasant, not lending an ear to his son eh, soft corrections, was a totaaly un-improvable dad. Even, beat up his son, for daring to speak to his dad in such a didactive tone.
    So dear kid sold him down the river! :o))))
    With very, very heavy heart :o)))))
    And longly signed afterwards - how is his dear dad? in Gulag? faring?
    But what to do. :o(

    :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 03:37am on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MA,
    :o)
    .

    And MaudDib - if anywhere - : Yo
    ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 05:53am on 28 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    To me, its a hopeful song, Alice.

    My bottom teeth are all going to come out (by my dentist) (false teeth coming at the same time)

    and my best friend here got fired from her job--

    I will miss her, but I will continue working here (at my decent govt job--good benefits--health insurance, etc.)

    But, me, I'm a happy person. The job isn't THAT bad. 99 percent of life "is just being there." (at work)

    I'm happy ...always have been..so no big problems, here. That makes a big difference in life.

    (and I bought a new laptop--it makes ME happy)

    I shall be released does not mean to die..

    It means -- in the song -- that, in the future, I see my life *shining* and from the west to the east means ...shining ...*everywhere,* But.. Here... on the earth:)

    I still love Saturdays and Sundays, always:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 05:56am on 28 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    And have you gotten a new cat? All cats are great. You just need to replace them every few years.

    See, Marcus supports (likes) you, too.:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 06:07am on 28 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    The joke about younger people was very funny (living in reverse) as were the other jokes:)

    I have one niece and one nephew (twins) who are such good children ...when their parents are there to watch them....

    my brother's wife got "fixed" so she will not have more..

    twins or triplets...genetically, its a shared -- by both families, ours and hers -- family trait (twins and triplets...scary in reality:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 10:55am on 28 Mar 2010, Bill wrote:

    Germany tried to rule europe twice before in the last century, by force, looks like their managing it now doesn't it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 11:27am on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    WebAliceinwonderland, you are an example of how successful Stalinist propaganda continues to be in Russia.

    Let me enlighten you on a few things.

    1.) Germany did not show contrition because it was "forced to". Germany made a pact with the Americans that no compensation money would have to be paid until the day Germany was rei-stated in full with a full re-unification. In one word: never.

    The west German realisation that terrible things were done in World War 2 which Germany needed to pay compensation for, was not forced by anyone. The Nazis were prosecuted and executed in the Nuremberg trials, the trials were over and Germany could have taken an attitude of "let's forget about it now". But you seem to be unfamiliar with what happened during the student protests of 1968 and Willy Brandt's great gesture of contrition in Warsaw. Germans could free their mind and admit past mistakes because Germany had become a free society, not because it lost. Russia is yet to free its mind and admit past mistakes, because it never became a free society. It has nothing to do with being defeated or "forced to do something" (how very Russian to think like that, by the way). It has everything to do with democracy and freedom.

    Russia, on the other hand, defends Russian crimes to this day. You are the best example of that. Russians have "debunked" Stalin? That is ridiculous. Your posts are blatant Stalinist propaganda, the best proof against your specious statement.

    You are saying it is not "a Russian" concept to reinstate a victioms dignity by paying compensation. well you got that right, it does not seem to be a Russian concept at all. Today's Russia is as aggressive and expansionist towards its neighbours as it always has been. It is run by KGB thugs who, unlike German politicians, were not brought up in a spirit of having to be careful and circumspect with their neighbours. They would annex adjacent states in Europe again, but thank goodness the Americans are in Europe now. It is still a society based on genocide and expansion and the west must watch it. The thugs have imperialist ambitions while many people within Russia live in squalor, don't have electricty, running water etc... An expansionist nation at least needs to have something to offer to the nations it wishes to rule over. Russia has nothing but a life in squalor and poverty to offer. A country like that must not be allowed to annex territory from countries like Georgia and Poland, which have reached much higher rungs on the great ladder of civilisation.

    Your Poland statements were the best proof of the fact that Russia is yet to even begin to have a critical look at itself and its history. According to your Stalinist propaganda, Russia only "took back" what had previously belonged to Russia? Oh yes, and made Poland disappear from the face of the map in the course of it. The only degree of self-criticism you are allowing yourself to indulge in is that Stalin chose "a bad moment" for murdering, pillaging and raping Polish women and children.

    As to your "Russia is undefeatable" statement - Russia was defeated before, in 1989. Do not be so sure it will not happen again, if Russia does not give up on its imperialist ambitions towards its neighbours.

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 12:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC;

    If it is any comfort to you, 1 million more Russians die each year than are born. At this rate, in 150 years the last one will be dead. Russians will be as extinct as the dodo bird. You can spend the rest of your life watching their population dwindle.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 12:56pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp.

    I've got a lot to say on your post. Our positions seem to be un-reconcilable.
    Before picking at "phrases", to cut it short, Russia does not debunk Stalin crimes. What we don't agree with, is equalling his crimes to that of Hitler.

    Poland seems to be the main sufferer of Stalin crimes around?
    Let's say - Poland - the European country beyond Russia, who had suffered from Stalin the most.

    I open you a free account, search high and low, enter your number on behalf of Poland.
    In the period when Stalin and Hitler ruled and were alive, as we compare both. 1930-s something, when Hitler came to power - to 1953 when Stalin died.

    Put in Katyn, the Polish soldiers and civillians dead in Russian occupation of half the country, Stalinist repressions to Poland post war who died in Gulag system - all Poland suffered from "Russia", from 1930-s to 1953.

    Their personal count to us:

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 1:00pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    In fact, I extend the invitaion to the rest of the European countries beyond Russia. Every one who thinks Stalin caused them harm as a country.
    1930-1953, come on.
    Given: Stalin caused my country same harm as Hitler. My count is:

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 1:02pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And don't include in Russia. We are not going to "pay compnesations" to ourselves. Keep it to your country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 1:05pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    A hint, for encouragement. Every one striving to equal the two, should aim to reach countries' loss to Hitler in the 2nd WW.

    Your number for orientation is 23,403,785 of soldiers
    46,733,062 of civillians

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 1:39pm on 28 Mar 2010, Makeze wrote:

    Since Germany has a net. household deficit itself, any money going to Greece would have to be borrowed by Germany in the first place. This would be very nice and "european" from Germany, because they can borrow at 3% interest, while Greece pays 6%.
    But there is a reason why Greece has high loaning costs, and that is because they don't seem the most reliable borrowers. Should Germany agree to bail them out, they would essentially be vouching for the Greeks to the lenders.
    Merkel is not right for opposing any bail out on principle. But asking the Greeks on how they plan to prevent this from ever happening again, and basing her decision on that answer: seems the responsible way to do it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 1:42pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    Do they allow copies of the Gulag Archipellago in Russia? It is a fascinating read. I highly recommend it. Estimates of the number of deaths of Soviet citizens attributable to Stalin range from 40 to 80 million. He was likely the greatest mass murderer in all of history. There is so much interesting about the Gulag. For instance, when many people were arrested by the KGB or NKVD or OGPU or whatever they were called, their first instinct was that they would get justice when Stalin heard of their arrest not even suspecting slightly that it was Stalin who ordered the arrest himself. Rule by state terrorism is the best description of Stalin.

    Stalin like Hitler was paranoid. After Hitler assumed power, the first thing he did was to have the brown shirts who helped him get into power executed. That is because those who helped him seize power were the greatest real threat to him remaining in power, they were the only ones who could remove and replace him left in Germany. I think that incident was called "The Night of the Long Knives." Similarly Stalin periodically had his closest associates executed for fear they might try to dethrone him. He even executed many of his generals. He also imprisoned or even executed engineers and scientists whose ideas clashed with Marxist philosophy. For example, agronomists who wanted to introduce hardier strains of wheat to better survive the Russian winters were imprisoned because the success of a wheat crop would according to extension of Marxist theory depend on the conditions the crop grew in, their tending and nurturing, not to inherent genetic superiority.

    The Germans were meticulous record keepers. They kept careful track of who they imprisoned and murdered even tatooing a number on the wrist of each internee in their concentration camps. The Soviets were not such good record keepers. Under Stalin, the police had their quotas of arrests. If they couldn't find the person on their list at home when they came to make an arrest, they'd take whoever was there in his place. If they were running behind on their quota, when a wife or other relative came to the police station the next day to inquire about the person who'd been arrested, they'd arrest the relative too. The method of killing people in the USSR was sometimes a little bizarre. If they shot their victim, they would send a bill to pay for the bullets to the surviving relatives. Often they just worked them to death. If they had a quota, say a number of trees that they had to cut down each day and they didn't meet it, they'd get less food or no food at all for that day. That left them weaker to meet the next day's quota. Disease also surely took its toll of human life in the Soviet concentration camps.

    I think to this day we don't know how Stalin died. Was he murdered? Poisoned? I think Berria died shortly afterwards. He was among the most infamous monsters in history too. Bulganin and Khrushchev ruled together for awhile until Khrushchev finally seized power. It was Khrushchev who began the process of de-Stalinization in his famous condemnation of "The Cult of Personality." In Orwell's book "1984", also a very good read by the way, Stalin was surely the model for the symbol of the state "Big Brother." In the USA during WWII, he was affectionately referred to as "Uncle Joe." Maybe that is why I was immediately suspicious of that wonderfully deceptive tool of the Soviet Union Vladimir Posner. Posner was one of three Soviet personalities that I found most memorable other than leadrs like Khrushchev and Gorbachev. Yuri "we want to be your friends" Arbitov was as effective as a bottle of sleeping pills at knocking you out cold when he spoke in his monoton voice. But of all of them, the best was Vitaly Chrukin who was among the finest and cleverest liars I'd ever seen. I'll bet he'd have made one hell of a fine used car salesman.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 1:47pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    I'm impressed. You got it over 70 million, more than double in one jump. When I was young, the story was 18 million. Then it jumped to 22 million. Then 26 million. And now 70 million with exact numbers right down the last one. I swear if I live long enough, it will be over 100 million Soviets who died in WWII as the result of the war. You've taken a large leap in that direction. :-) I'll bet if they keep digging they will find more than enough bodies they didn't know about to get there yet.

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 2:24pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius, 70 million is not USSR.
    It's wiki count 2ndWW.

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 2:25pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    UN number.

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 2:28pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Russia thinks the total is more. 70 million UN current estimated above includes China and South-East Asia civillian loss as 7 million.

    With all respect, Chinese own count is 30 million.

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 2:33pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    You disappoint me terribly. That's the total for everyone in the world? I thought the USSR had invented more corpses to prove how they'd suffered even far more than we'd ever previously imagined. So then the number for the USSR goes back down to 26 million or 28 million? How will it ever make 100 million in my lifetime. So many more Soviet victims to find, so little time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 2:35pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    70 million total? To hear Europeans tell it, America killed that many Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki alone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 2:36pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Half Leningrad was arrested. OK, honestly, not "half" but it feels this way, when all are scared.

    Anyway - no one here received "a bill for a bullet".
    Un-heard of.
    Won't speak for other cities, but mind it Leningrad was absolute Stalin's favourite across the USSR. To the degree he never visited it, whole city under suspicion.

    With the "bill for the bullet" you of course did a lot of reading, buut you didn't get it. The idea was suspence. You were never told if your relative is shot. You carried "pass-overs" to the special KGB window, accepting prizon pas-over packages, letters, food, a cueue 3,000 people by the door on any given day, relatives. Packages were accepted, from the relatives of taken away people. In return - zero news. Suspence for years. Some several years later you'd be informed was shot in 19XXX, usually, several years interval. Most were never informed until Stalin died. Nobody knew. to say nothing about "receipts" for bullets.

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 2:51pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Fine joking mood, Mavrelius.

    When you were young, "the story was 18 million".

    The story was, and stayed for years, because Stalin said so. He liked the number.

    Most of all he liked the amount of German army loss to be equal to Red Army loss. And overall, to make it look more like "victory".

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 2:52pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Won't speak for other cities, but mind it Leningrad was absolute Stalin's favourite across the USSR."

    No bill for the bullets in Leningrad. How generous of Uncle Joe. His gift to the people of that City he loved most. Free bullets. I'll bet the barber who trimmed his mustasche was very careful not to accidently cut anything except the hairs. He trimmed that moustasche like his life depended on it :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 2:53pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    He thought it is very un-elegant, when Russian population fights more and loses more than the army itself. Red Army image thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 2:57pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Anyway, while Chris Camp is doing his home-work, figuring out Poland loss to Stalin - I highly recommend wiki page in English, for Poland, for that mattter.

    You won't get a higher amount of Polish loss incurred by Russia anywhere.

    The best part about that wiki entry is it was definitely composed by the Polish themselves, or Britain for them, someone like Chris Camp himself, you'll find perfect agreement with the info, I think.

    What makes me think the wiki page is Polish own is the patented style,

    "Poland lost in the 2ndWW more than any other world country - 6 million people".

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 3:07pm on 28 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Marcus what you say is ok, but then why are you so hot over it? British starved to death 20 million Indians back in late 1800s but today they largely refuse to speak about it. You in US you genocides practically all American natives (an unknown number but they were several millions), not to mention that you displaced all Mexicans stealing their country from their hands. Let alone New York bankers having directly contributed to the ascension of communist leaders in Russia (i.e. Lenin and Stalin were your clients there!), so that you create the 2 blocks so that you have the justification for intervening more actively in other peoples' affairs - it is not me saying, that there tons of material including the saying of many famous people of those times having seen Lenin and Trotsky in the company of US and/or Swiss bankers and in general the higher financial circle.

    Had it not been for Stalin's massacres and technical reduction of population (policies to make women work, thus not make a lot of kids and such), Russia today could easily number 400 million (I mean Russians and others included), Siberia would not be the gulagk archipelago but the land of opportunities and Russia would dominate the world. That was something feared for the last 200 years and that is why the British international politics always calculated not on the basis of France or Germany (which they controlled anyway), but on the basis of Russia which they had to contain.

    By the way, Stalin and Hitler had learnt about concentration camps, guess by whom? The Turks of course who applied it in the first world war during the genocides of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrochaldeans. Turks a backwards people that had the 1/10th of what Germans and Russians had managed to kill 4 million christian civilians (1,5 Greeks, 1,5 Armenians, 1 Assyrochaldeans) and kick out the remaining 3 millions and alter forever the face of Minor Asia from a population of 17 million, 10 million muslims and 7 million christians to a population of 100% mulisms only who in 80 years multiplied by 6-7 times (more than doubled every generation) to create a situation today where you could not even imagine how it was 100 years back.

    Yet you in USA consider Turkey as an example of democracy, and a truly modern country and you help them keep hinding the truth - not all of you but then see what Bush and Obama said about the genocide of Armenians - "Do not talk about it not to hurt the feelings of our friends turks". Well that is where you should stop talking about Stalin and Hilter too. You are no better than them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 3:16pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I was trying to find an interesting story in the Gulag on line without having to find the actual book in my house and searching through it. As I recall it has something to do with railroad engineers. As I recall it, they warned that the kinds of loads the Soviets were shipping were so heavy they would damage the tracks causing derailments. I think they were sent to the Gulag for it. When they were proven right, their supervisors who had rejected their warnings were also sent to the Gulag but the original engineers were not released. I think their advice was eventually taken though by building wider gage railroad tracks and cars. Can't quite remember, it's been a long time since I read it, around the mid 1970s.

    The USSR government agreed to publish The First Circle if Solzhenitsyn would withdraw the Gulag. He refused. After much publicity in the west, the USSR stripped him of his Soviet citizenship and deported him and his family I think around 1979. He was interviewed for four hours in Switzerland by CBS who edited it down to a 1 hour program with Walter Cronkite as the interviewer. It was the most embarrassing thing imaginable. Solzhenitsyn who probably knew more about the history of the KGB and the Gulag than anyone alive including maybe the KGB itself wanted to tell the world his story. He practically had to force it down Cronkite's throat because all Cronkite wanted to talk about was how wonderful it was that the Western press had gotten him and his family out of the USSR alive. When I watched it, it occurred to me that Solzhenitsyn must have considered whether he'd made a smart move leaving the USSR wondering what kind of world of idiots lived in the west. It was at that moment that I realized that the TV news anchors on commercial network television in the US such as Cronkite, Huntley, Brinkley, etc. were themselves bumbling fools who knew nothing. Would you believe that Cronkite was the most trusted aned respected man in America according to a poll and could have run for President and probably won? Frightening thought.

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 3:17pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    So, while Chris Camp is busy, arriving to the convincing disastrous amount,

    I'll pick up at the first phrase, of post 170.

    "
    1.) Germany did not show contrition because it was "forced to". Germany made a pact with the Americans that no compensation money would have to be paid until the day Germany was rei-stated in full with a full re-unification. In one word: never. "

    What do I care how Germany made pact with the Americans. That's German-American business. What has it got to do with the issue: "Hitler equals Stalin".

    Your point is, Americans were more gracious than Russians?

    I thought they split and shared German fleet and aviation, what was left of it, along the other two - Russia, Britain. Didn't shy away to use POW work either.

    Anyway, American gracefullness may have something to do with their loss, compared to USSR, no?

    You think they'd be same graceful - as Russia - if under German occupation, for that matter? Britain would?

    I think a stone won't be left on stone in Germany, and no one would ever hear a word in German in the world in future, if the USA or Britain experienced anything in the league of Russian loss.

    Here, same UN:

    USA population in 1939: 131 million 28 thousand people.
    Soldier loss, to Hitler and Japan, both: 405 thousand 399 people
    Civillian loss, to both Hitler and Japan, in the 2ndWW: 3 thousand people.

    USSR population, 1941: 177 million 667 thousand people.

    Soldier loss, in the Great Patriotic War (without Japanese operation, our Great Patriotic ended 9 May) : 10 million 465 thousand people.

    Civillian loss, to Hitler: 15 million 760 thousand.

    American gracefullness may have something to do with the difference, between 15 million and 3 thousand, don't you think.

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 3:25pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Nik;

    Your lies and distortions are beneath contempt and not worthy of a detailed response from me. However, I'm willing to be a referee of sorts between you and Chris Camp who said he is a Turk living in Germany or a German of Turkish descent (can't remember which but I think the former.) You can do verbal battle arguing which was the more brutal, ruthless, barbaric, inhuman, detestable, dispicable, loathsome, unworthy to be called human society, Greece or Turkey. Beleive me when I tell you I am impartial having little regard for either of them. BTW, speaking of Christains being slaughtered, how many Christians do you suppose the Romans threw to the lions in the arenas for the amusement of spectators during the first few centuries of the Roman Empire before it became Christian?

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 3:27pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    In fact I think if the USA lost 15 million civillians - there won't be not only Germany on the map, but no Europe either. And, likely, no world at all.

    In case you didn't notice how they react to 3,500 "civillian loss", in world towers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 3:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Let's look at Britain in the 2ndWW. Britain is more "irritated" if such a word can be used, sorry.

    I mean, their civillian loss is not USA's 3 thousand.
    But 92 thousand 673.

    You get effects like Dresden, 100% justified in British view, I don't think anyone questions this. When you get into these amounts, close to 100 thousand loss inflicted.

    Britain, population in 1939: 47 million 760 thousand people

    Soldier loss, 2ndWW: 286 thousand 200 people.
    Civillian loss, 2nd WW: 92 thousand 673.

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 3:34pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    It is true, the US did not suffer anything like the casualties the USSR suffered in WWII. (America's worst war was the Civil War from 1860 to 1865.) I attribute this to two things. First the US was too far from Germany for a direct attack on its population. Second, the Soviet Army was a very poor fighting force, initially badly underequipped and unprepared. It also faced many more German soldiers on a much wider front.

    The Germans did have plans for America though. They were working on nuclear weapons and V-9 ICBMs to launch them at the US. I don't think they were anywhere close to that capability by the end of the war.

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 3:44pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "In fact I think if the USA lost 15 million civillians - there won't be not only Germany on the map, but no Europe either. And, likely, no world at all."

    I think you are correct. They would have bombed Germany to dust to the point where archeologists would have had more trouble finding traces it ever existed than finding the bones of 100 million year old dinosaurs. Whatever would have happend to the rest of Europe and the world as a consequence is anyone's guess.

    I read an article about Moscow being the most heavily targed place on earth during the cold war. It was believed that between the US, France, and the UK, at least 67 nuclear weapons were destined for Moscow. The problem would have been for the bomber pilots who would have arrived hours after the missiles had destroyed the city. After the first couple of dozen hydrogen bombs had detonated, all visible traces of where the city would have been would have vanished. The bomber pilots would have only had coordinates to tell them where to drop their bombs, all recognizable man made landmarks having been vaporized or reduced to dust. I don't think a single Moscovite would have survived no matter how deep underground into the Metro or shelters they'd have hidden themselves. Why would Vlad Putin want to bring something like that back to life?

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 3:59pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MAvrelius,
    "it occurred to me that Solzhenitsyn must have considered whether he'd made a smart move leaving the USSR wondering what kind of world of idiots lived in the west" :o))))))

    He was a writer, first and foremost, an excellent writer, with access to Gulag info first hands, own "experience" /torture, all he says about it I take for true.

    In numbers, he is doing less, for it was difficult to get to statistics for anyone in Russia, past and present and future, with the exception of about 10 perestroyka years. Between Gorbachyov and Putin, the only so far open access to KGB archives time interval. By open I mean open - foreigners were let in, any travelling American with the credentials "I am a teacher of history " :o))))) and any Russian interested, with the same "credentials". Then the lid was closed down again.

    For Solzhenitsyn from inside Gulag doors, access to any data was total impossible. Neither when he worked on it post release and until his departure.
    He got back at evidence, archives and amounts only when he returned back to Russia again, and all his masterpieces were long written by that time.

    From the time of return he published only something like small brochures, on this and that.

    It was an awesome procedure, Solzhenitsyn return to Russia.
    The plane from Alaska side first touched airport in Vladivostok, or Khabarovsk it was, Russian Far East. For the patriarch to walk out of the plane to the crowds of expecting him back home Russians. Whole airport stood in crowds to the horison, welcoming him. In total silence, as he walked down the stairs. All waited what he'd say Russia, the first thing.
    He said nothing. Walked down, in complete silence, fell to the ground and kissed Russian land.
    All cried, nobody said anything.

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 4:04pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Well, then he cheered up :o), became more talkative, seeing how he is received, and spoke a lot, various addresses and speeches, as his plane flew through Russia East to West. he didn't fly direct, but was stopping over, every 2 hrs of flight, or something, to talk to the people all across, check news. Stayed over for a night or two - then flew on. Did a dozen cities.

    Researcher approach! to getting the feel. first-hand :o
    ) , patented

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 4:08pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius,
    you are def. inclined to know Gulag news :o)))), be an info source on that, I'll give you a small present :o) To decorate your collection of rarities.

    There were Gulag Football Championships. Across the 167 camps system, steadily held.

    When one thinks of that, for about? several minutes' time. You understand all is possible here.

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 4:14pm on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    The premise is preposterous and the numbers obviously contrived. Nobody knows the exact numbers down to the very last person ("23,403,785 plus 46,733,062" - what an obscene, mendacious contrivance!). It is impossible, not only because WW2 caused a huge amount of displaced persons, but also because Hitler and Stalin were great friends before they finally started having at each other. The Polish victims of the Russian-German rape of their country are impossible to attribute to one country alone. Both the Russians and the Germans were murderers, thieves and rapists in Poland.

    The estimates regarding Russia' victims from the Stalin era range from 20 million to 60 million. Here, as with Germany's victims, it is not possible to state an exact number, with the added difficulty any historian faces when wanting to do research of having to deal with the Kremlin's constant stonewalling. In a country, that saw the assassination of over 150 journalists since 1989 and where political opponents are harassed and intimidated, it is not surprising that research on Stalin has not been anywhere near as through and precise as the research done on Hitler in Germany.

    Beyond that, it is not about comparing numbers of victims. Both Russia and Germany committed unheard of and unforgivable crimes. I do not need to know which one of the two murdered more people to take sides in this one. I find both of them utterly disgusting.

    Marcus Aurelius II,

    I for one would be inconsolable if Russians were to die out, the same way I would be inconsolable if Americans died out or Chinese people died out or Nigerian people died out. All human life is valuable and there is no nation on Earth that is not legitimate in my view. What I find so repulsive is the lengths some nations go to to wrap something pretty around their history, especially when their history has been one of theft and murder.

    Three years ago, I helped a group of German and Swiss students transport hospital equipment to a hospital in Murmansk. That hospital is badly funded and dependent on donations from other countries. I still had a lorry driver's license from I time as a student so I said yes. We took the Scandinavian route via Finland. The difference was quite shocking. Finland is a highly developed country, technologically advanced, studded with pretty villages and prosperous towns. Once you cross the border and reach the ex-Finnish territory that Russia stole from Finland, you see dilapidation, decline, neglect and a population living in poverty and utter despair. In Murmansk, which has always been Russian, the situation was even worse. I have never seen a more neglected, more rampaged town in my life, not even during that one semester I spent in Mombasa. One would expect an east African city to be less prosperous than a city in Russia, which, in theory, has more resources than it knows what to do with.

    I'll state it one more time - an imperialistic power that wishes to steal territory from another nation needs to have something to offer the people in the stolen territory. If the nation that steals de-civilises the area and brings nothing but poverty, then it loses the last scrap of legitimacy it had to begin with.

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 4:20pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "When one thinks of that, for about? several minutes' time. You understand all is possible here."

    I know anything was possible in the Gulag. In one strange story, men who were prisoners were lined up along the railroad tracks. A train stopped and lots of women were pushed off the trains, they were also inmates of the Gulag. The male prisoners then proceeded to rape them all.

    Yes anything was possible.

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 4:22pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Stalin, yes, a certain box of chocolates present everywhere. But no one tried a choc of it after :o), all consumed by him single-sweet-toothingly :o)

    Opinions differ, about his ability to eat a box of chocolates in one go :o). Well, can be, of course - "chocolate over-eating resulting in grave immediate effect" :o))))
    Chocolate-allergy?

    Then also, that having collapsed on the floor he was carefully observed :o), for 14 hrs. You know, scary to call a doctor, what if would come back to senses and get angry? Better not to approach but watch from a careful polite distance :o)
    May be, he is, how to say, simply resting?

    So all murky business.
    His admirers later insisted that "simply worked himself to death!" "who'd poison him?" "a stroke, from nerves".

    One would think, indeed. Such a population, such Allies :o))), such a size of the "zone of responsibility " :o))))), such !!!!! xxxx colleagues, one better than another, Lavrentij Beria I mean, take anyone :o)))). Such a war behind, also leaves a trace on a man. seriously.

    So, un-clear. Can be this, can be that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 4:39pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    One wants to think, of course, that "we got rid of him, ourselves, we poisoned him", but can be wishful thinking.

    If poisoned - hardly by any decent people.
    There weren't any :o)))), simply :o)))) in his close circle.

    Great consolation if poisoned by Beria or the likes :o(.

    Beria - when his long black limousine turned round the corner in Moscow - the street cleared up of females, in 10 seconds! All knew he grabs girls, any good-looking one, into his car, will be dragged in. Moscow was swarming with gossip. He especially hunted Bolshoy ballerina-s, and many opera singes, for status boasting about later on, but didn't shun fieldmarhal daughters, and, when in the mood, say - any good looking muscovite would do.
    Then, Katyn, oh what to say.

    Not much consolation if Beria put Stalin away, same company.

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 4:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Nik;

    What you say about the Russians and Germans is true. They were no better or worse than the Turks. Numbers were different, details were different but the core of it is the same. You could say the same for many societies including France, Britain, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Ruwanda, Uganda, Indonesia, and many more.

    I don't think you will see the last Russian die out in your lifetime. Not unless we all die out from global warming. From what WA says, Russians hate heat. I know she'd rather live in a cold climate.

    Given your concern about hospital conditions around the world, I think you should cosider bringing a lot of equipment and materials to hospitals in Britain. They could use brooms, mops, disinfectant, floor cleaners, stain removers, toilet bowl cleaners, and other janitorial supplies. Their hospitals are reputed to be pure filth. Not only disgusting but a breeding ground for germs leading to infecting patients. I saw a British war ship docked in Fort Lauderdale once in 1986 after I had boarded a cruse ship in the same harbor. The side of it was so rusty looking. No pride in it at all. The British Navy also has a reputation for filth. Even though I'd heard of it, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 5:09pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp,
    don't deviate. Answer for your words. You say Russia was same ruinous for Poland as Hitler.

    I don't buy "the premise preposterious". Blood is not water. A million dead differs from a thousand dead. You don't know the diffference, i wish you never will.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 5:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    What I know is that the Nazis invaded Poland from the West while the Soviets invaded from the East and between them they divided up the country. The Nazis were kicked out in 6 years. It took over 60 years for the Soviets to leave. We should not forget the Soviet puppet Jaruselski who supressed the Poles after the uprising led by Lech Walesa in the Gdansk shipyards that were so important to the USSR. Jaurselski feared if he did't crush the opposition, Poland would suffer the same fate as Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Russian tanks moving in. I think this was around 1980 or 1981 at about the same time as Russia invaded Afghanistan. I think that the Polish Pope John Paul II was also causing problems for the USSR in Poland. Nobody guessed that the USSR's days were numbered and the end wasn't that far off.

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 5:50pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Oops, sorry WA, I criticized the USSR too strongly. I said it took 60 years for Poland to get rid of that "guest." I should have said 50 years. 1939 to 1989. See, it wasn't as bad as I thought :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 7:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    You are welcome, Mavrelius.
    I understand your impatient year counting, took so long before you could install own equipment in Eastern Europe.

    Anyway, technically, 50-4. = 46. The four when Poland belonged to Hitler and lost those 450,000 soldiers and 4,500,000 civillians, the 6 million, as they put it.

    Why weren't you impatient to move there during those blossoming years?

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 7:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "Some time don't know when, some where don't know where, some amount of Gulag men were brought up to the train route, where a train stopped, and some q-ty of Gulag future female prizoners were let out to the men crowd. At which point Gulag men began raping Gulag women."

    I cried.

    Well, if you think the matter requires further investigation, I dare to propose that if this ever took place, the men were not Solzhenitsyn-types, political prizoners in Gulag. More likely, ordinary criminals, which Gulag system contained, differing in years, from 30 to 36%.

    I am sure the morals among convicted murderes and rapists in US prizon system has always been high, any amount of female captives can safely be released into the crowd.

    Another thing is containment conditions; in US prizons I belive there were never camps with walk around barack village style like Siberia, where would you go - to the nearest town thousands miles through frozen tundra or taiga. But more like cages and bars, with prizoners strictly segregated.

    Well Stalin thought that all should work, cut forest or build cities and bridges and dig canals etc., so he was against the luxury of a single criminal "resting" behind the bars and being fed by the state. In his time there were no ordinary prizons, only pre-court containment, with which he didn't bother long either, thus all categories of imprisoned ended up in Gulags.

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 8:07pm on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Well, I would take that with a big shaker of salt. For years, you blamed Katyn on the Germans and you have contrived lots of "evidenceon this blog, too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 8:22pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    For that matter, Chris Camp, - what does life condition in modern Murmansk has to do with "Stalin was as bad for Poland as Hitler".

    Charming how you pour out, by thought, all over the tree.

    You indicated you wish Murmansk is Finnish rather than Russian?
    Bad news, it never was once and won't be.
    Like many other interesting places in Russia. Not Finnish, what to do.
    There is such a thing as country sovereignity; come and take it if you dare, or stop threatening and being aggressive.
    And enjoy how Murmansk people accept you. When you come with sword, not with hospital equipment.

    In consolation to you can say Murmansk fared far better in USSR. Like Putin said - "the greatest catastrophe of the century" and all.
    That's a port city and a port without fishering ships and cargo ships stop-overs and Navy ships doesn't usually fare well.

    Before perestroyka ships were state. Post perestroyka the idea was people themselves buy those ships and start private fishering companies and cargo shipping companies.

    Strangely, muromchans/Murmansk inhabitants didn't have potential oligarchs between themselves. It's always been a Russian climate zone where oligarchs, how to say, avoided to settle. All working people, all state business, nothing to catch.

    And then, even getting into groups of 5! into groups of 25! into groups of 5,000! - Murmansk fishermen, Navy and civil fleet sailors - couldn't find money between themselves to buy one ocean ro-ro and "start own business".

    While dear oligarchs focused on Russian regions with more promising profits quick, than operating cargo ship lines.
    We stopped fishing in the world ocean. 1% of what USSR did before. We buy fish now.
    We stopped civil fleet, ro ro and cargo ships operating in the world.

    Old ships rusted away. Murmansk rusted away and slowly collapsed, I don't think a new building was built there in the first 15 post USSR years. Without ships - who needs a port. Either USSR or fleet have to be back for the city to get a life.

    Well, if it can console you further - at least they have 2 months of holidays a year full paid, retire to pension young, and get 2 thousand dollars state aid plus FOC house belonging transfer to any point of Russia, if they wish to get out. Privilegies of the region that has always been classified in Russia as "extreme Nord conditions ruinous for health." Rachitis with children etc, no sun, 1 month summer.


    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 8:49pm on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    I do not want Murmans to belong to the Finnish people. It is Russian and always has been Russian. And unlike Russia, Finland is not in the habit of constantly stealing territory from its neighbours. I do not even want Russia to give back territory it has stolen. I do not want Lwow to go back to Poland either. I do not want Kaliningrad to go back to Germany and I do not want the northern islands to go back to Japan. Those places are ruined now and worthless. But answer me one question: Why is it that once-prosperous towns and provinces under Finish, Polish, German or Japanese administration turn into dilapidated toilets the moment they are stolen and put under Russian administration?

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 8:50pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp, you are total salt, don't worry.
    I don't "contrive" a thing.

    And why, for instance, you picked at 2ndWW numbers, that couldn't be exact, up to a person? I agree up to a person looks funny, but I don't answer for the numbers of other countries. Russian numbers have always been rounded, hasn't seen "up to 1 man", if someone submitted it thus to the UN, or I don't know, I suppose countries do back up information, with something, when they quote own numbers.

    We had slightly different amounts published here, on the 60th anniversary of victory five years ago, when countries came to Moscow to mark the day. Various presidents and their historical committees, all brought own figures. But it is not thousands' variations anymore, excepting China case, where they insist it's around 30 mln, not 7 million.

    Anyway Russia is not China, why do you think it's so un-countable as it were in China during their occupation by the Japanese.

    USSR has always been a police state, all were pin-pointed to place of residence, very small population mobility. "Propiska", /registration in the police in the place of living, if you ever heard the word.
    My "propiska" is still stated in my passport. If I move within Russia to another city I have to show up to the police station there and change the stamp in the passport. Even if I start living in another street in St. Petersburg - the same.

    We are all pin-pointed and counted, and have always been. It's not a Newton's binom for the USSR to see who is missing and where. Abroad nobody ran, couldn't, within Russia - you show your passport everywhere you go, pick up a parcel from the post office, visit a state medical clinic, register a child to school - you won't be serviced a state thing without presenting your passport. Where the stamp of the place of residence should comply with the area you addressed state services for.
    Otherwise go to where you belong and put your child into state kinder-garten there.

    USSR-ians have always been counted the way you've never been, and Russians are.

    Likewise, how is it that Red Army loss couldn't be counted? Army is army, it's uniforms, provisions, armament, food rations, whole industry working behind, head quarters sitting-planning. What we call "behind the front line rats", as being there was not considered an honorary business for a man during the war. After all, it's "soldier books", where awards and reprimands are entered, and changes in the units/what part of the army a man is with, promoted to, decreased, moved from moto-infantry to artillery, or I don't know. Whole war story, of each soldier, in his soldier record book, with stamps and all. Every family whose relative died got a copy of that soldier book back, as a memory, of father or a husband. The originals in the Military Archive.

    Finally, soldiers had ? like a metal medallion, with their personal number, always. When a body is found these days, it's bones and the medallion with ingraved number. So families are notified by the Military Archive, that from category - vanished without notice (read - could have defected, chnaged sides, all "vanished without notice" families haven't got a pension post-war, for the loss of the feeder. They are not in the loss stat., only those whose medallions were recovered, and soldier books got to the Military Archive.

    When found - even 60 years later - these people are transferred to "loss", and families get compensation FINALLY.

    If China didn't count their army, or civillians, I understand they can not prove more than 7 million.
    But we always could, it just grew up slightly more, as Stalin artificially equalled the amount of Red Army loss to the German army loss. Approximately, he didn't know their amounts that Germany will come up post war with. But wasn't very wrong.
    But the Archive always knew, it just one thing you made known publicly, another thing what's for you to know, and others to guess.

    With Poland I repeat Poland knew we killed their intelligencia officers and admin in Katyun, on Beria's order, signed by Stalin across the Beria's document - "Agreed". Poland knew since 1964. Until that time they counted their people as exported to Gulag system to USSR and unknown dead or alive.

    When Stalin died there was a first thing delegation to Khruschev, as he closed Gulags and people began returning homes, and those Poles never returned.

    They came to Moscow, the Polish commission, a lot of people, I can find names, demanding the answer, "why ours are not back?"
    And he told them they'll never be, and showed the Beria order, and "agreed upon".

    It's simply Polish men were hushed down, or decided not to quarrel with USSR, or I don't know why they preferred to withhold info from public Polish knowledge. The fact is their top men and historians knew, and withheld.

    From USSR side I am sure Khruschev urged them not to tell around, not to aggravete eh, "peace and quiet and freindship", within the Warsaw block.

    May be that's why it is a "Warsaw block", and not a "Moscow block" or a "Belgrade block", Poland got something for silence, and their men were not returnable back, anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 8:54pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    10 million Russian soldier loss it is, after all, pensions, billed on the "loss of the feeder". You think USSR would pay pensions to families whose husband died in war from? great kindness? un-proved by documents?

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 8:59pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    By the way I've seen copies of what can be vaguely described as Red Army soldier book, at an English home. It is also copies, but it is not within one leaflet, it's separate pages, copy of why awarded, when, for waht, gives the same details, unit, who signed the award, who recommended for, when recommended, when actually awarded.
    I do believe that small European countries are also able to count their 2ndWW soldiers, and given small numbers overall - even up to the last one, absolutely exactly.

    How do you think commanders of armies and regiments, and batallions, did not know how many men they have in, before every operation?
    Absolutely all knew.

    Anyway, in a month is 65th anniversary, we will see if numbers people come over with to Moscow will change. I don't think so, for the 60th it was an effort done, and a work. There aren't many un-known lives left, only the ones who have not been excavated yet and lie across the continent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 9:01pm on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Your numbers are clearly and visibly conbtrived. Not only is there no such number inwhere on the web or anywhere in the books that I own, there aren't even any numbers that come close. The TOTAL numbers of casualties in world war 2 is estimated to be around 55,000,000 and that includes everyone on every side. So the number would not only include atrocities committed by Germans, but also those committed by Japanese, Italians and Russians.

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 9:09pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Even a train ticket St.Petersburg-Moscow I can't buy, withouit presenting my passport at the train station cash-desk.
    All movement of people is strictly monitored across the Russian Fed - who when ever went where.

    These days I can book a ticket in the internet, and pay by web money - but when I get to the train station, with the internet print-out, the train car boarding 2 uniformed train employees demand the passport at the door of the train car, you wonj't step in, unless your passprt details and face fit one to one to the data you submitted about your passport into the electronic train system.

    Same with airplanes.

    We never could move between cities, buy a single train or airplane ticket, without showing passport with registration stamp.

    If you lose passport here - it is end of life, until you get a new one, having proved who you are. I lost twice :o))))), I know.

    Russian passport is a very high treasure here. If you lose one you immediately run ti the police and write an application debunking all a new false passport holder will ever do on your behalf. Because people register false companies with stolen passports, appoint fictitious company directors "in charge of all" (to be put to prison, when company grabs clients' money and disappears), you can take a credit by showing passport at a shop, to buy a fridge on credit, or an expensive TV set, or whatever.

    A passport is one's main everyday life companion here. :o)

    Only recently they allowed banks to exchange currency without clients presenting passport first. Before banks took a xerox copy, and clipped it to the currency exchange print-out, they had to, by law, and submit infor on all exchnaging suspiciously too much dollars.

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 9:15pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Germany is resting, ROFL, with all their praised efficiency and organisation, compared to the interest Russian crown traditionally takes in the life details of her subjects.

    Though must say never heard of anyone in 20 yeatrs, having been contacted on the account "exchanged way too much currency -w here you took it from" or "you shuttle like mad between Moscow and St. petersburg - why?"

    They quietly pile the info up, must be simply feel better knowing things are under control.

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 9:23pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MAvrelius, you are wrong about Pope Pavel II, we aren't over fond of catholisism overall, because of Western Ukraine, to be exact. What catholics do in the world elsewhere - we have no clue and aren't interested. But Russia liked that Pope as an exception, we sympathised with him when Russian patriarch turned down his suggestion of a visit. It was viewed as un-friendly to a nice man.

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 9:25pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp, I'll give you full list of Russian numbers I mean re the world in the 2nd WW, and you can then say what worries you about them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 9:43pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp,

    for starters, here is the variation between some Western historians on the numbers, listed by country. Frame of reference that we find is valid. From - to, look here:

    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/ww2stats.htm

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 9:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    The Europeans say and believe that the USSR fell because of The Beatles, Pope Paul II, Gorbachev, anything except America. That America had tens of thousands of troops, Thousands of planes, tens of thousands of tanks, 20,000 nuclear weapons all trained on the Warsaw Pact nations, especially the USSR and would have been ready to burn down the world in a second, would not renounce first use of nuclear weapons, a 600 ship Navy that all cost trillions of American taxpayer dollars to build and maintan according to Europeans had nothing to do with it.

    I lived in Europe for 1 1/2 years. Having seen them, experienced them, watched them on their own turf all first hand, and finally understood them, I wondered why we defended them. We should have left Europe after Hitler was defeated and let them all continue killing each other. If the Soviets wanted to march into Paris, London, Rome, Athens, Madrid, we should have let them. They could have paid to feed them and rebuild Europe, not us. They would still be under the Soviet yoke and as primitive as Eastern Europe was at the fall of the wall to this day. Not a threat to America and just as bankrupt as they are now anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 10:05pm on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Yes, that is one of the sites I looked at, too. If you take the mean of this very small selection of historians. If the overall number of World War 2 casualties is 55 million on ALL sides, then how do you arrive at your over 70 million Hitler-exclusive victims?

    I'll tell you how - you pulled it out of thin air, just like you did your international law statement, according to which you said it was permissible for Russia to steal Poland's territory.

    Furthermore it was pulled out of thin air that a "war" was being waged against Russia at the moment. Really? If the U.S. considered every little bit of mild criticism directed at Russia an act of war, then they would have bombed every country in the world to smithereens by now.

    Then another one of your invention - Stalin did not victimise Germany? Yes, really? The tens of thousands of Berlin children and women raped repeatedly by Soviet soldiers were not victims?

    Then another one of your inventions - Germany only came to terms with its past, because it was "forced to". The student movement of 1968 was not brought about by the Americans, but in many parts opposed by the Americans. Willy Brandt was not contrite because the Americans told him to, but because he was a humanist.

    In contrast to that, you said that Russians had "debunked" Stalin much sooner than Germans. Really? Your posts are the best proof that Stalinist propaganda is still alive today, swallowed by at least some Russians, hook line and sinker and regurgitated by at least some Russians, hook like and sinker.

    I do not want to be rude, but I am getting very bored of this indeed. I could attribute your posts to sheer ignorance, but I am getting the feeling that something much darker and sinister is at work here. What we are being treated to here, I think, is undiluted Stalinist propaganda.

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 10:09pm on 28 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII, as stated above, your posts suggest you have not spent so much as one second on European soil. I am glad that Americans who actually do know us Europeans are here. We have a great relationship with them and they are always welcome.

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 10:09pm on 28 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Greece
    Military:
    Small & Singer: 10,000 (1940-41)
    Eckhardt: 10,000
    HarperCollins: 16,357
    Info. Please: 17,024
    Ellis: 18,300
    Compton's: 77,200
    Britannica: 88,300
    Clodfelter: 88,300 incl...
    17,024 KIA, which incl. partisans
    Urlanis: 100,000, incl. 10,000 in 1940-41 war
    Civilian:
    Eckhardt: 54,000
    HarperCollins: 155,300
    Britannica: 325,000
    Clodfelter: 325,000
    Davies: 325,000
    Urlanis: 350,000
    Compton's: 380,000
    Ellis: 415,000

    .... eeeeee... I wonder all these people what do they measure?

    Certainly in the above highest numbers there is not included the toll of the great famine technically provoked by Germans in the winter of 1942 whose most moderate number so far has been 700,000 people.

    On the top of them the officil number of executed people were:
    - Germans (Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete till 1943 then all Greece) executed more than 45,000 Greeks
    - Bulgarians (only Thrace) executed nearly 50,000 Greeks (in what can be seen as a local genocide)
    - Italians (most of Greece till 1943) killed a bit more than 40,000 (proving they were no less inhuman than Germans and Bulgarians having no shame for their defeat in war)

    On the overall out of the 7 million Greece, 1 in 7 died. In a country that not only did not have any responsibility but which was repeatedly attacked by both enemies and allies (it was Britain that galvanised Italy, then Germany to attack Yugoslavia & Greece).

    All these people writing that waste above should have the Oprensniki send upon them to arrest them and send them to gulag archipelago for some surfing...

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 10:32pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    Now that you have a computer that can get multimedia, here's a link I posted a long time ago which you probably couldn't get. Joe Adamov's Moscow Mailbag was very entertaining and his jokes were often so corny and stupid they were actually funny even to these Western ears. I hope you enjoy him as much as I have. I just wish they had even more of his archives.

    http://www.vor.ru/Moscow_Mailbag/Adamov.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 10:44pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I am looking for the paper from 5 years ago, what countries who came to Moscow on the 60th anniversary brought with as their stat.
    Meanwhile dog howls to walk.
    By the way, I quoted the same very table in this blog already for Jukka Rohila a year ago. I wish I could simply find a link to my old post!
    Unfortunately I damn wrote here in a year way too much!
    ______________

    Mavrelius, all those wonderful things you had ready you quoted were not applied. Don't remember a single "Bang" all peace quiet. Beatles :o)))) Pope who plans to visit :o)))) exactly :o))))) All, how to say, gradual eh :o))))) quiet collapse, in best expectations for the future.

    Charles Dickens Great Expectations - during a rustling autumn rain, quite melancholy monotonous, and shuffling. With intermittant highs of sun break through. Curious feeling.
    I don't know the day when USSR collapsed, nor when the Communist party stopped, neither the year. I can look up, but nobody knows, your can bet on it. It's been dragged over ? about 5 years? 3? 7?

    Of your bombs USSR was never scared a sec. We are light-minded people, compared to you. Those muscovites, you mentioned, about to dive into the subway. Besides we were always told we are well protected. From a nuclear war :o)))))

    Honest, always scares about China, hardly about the USA. Why our army bothered :o)))) one wonders.

    Then, think yourself - instanteneous death. "Easy life I asked the God about - easy death I should have asked instead". Clearly not 2ndWW, already something.

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 10:51pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Without PR on the Russian side - nobody knew how scary you are. All US expense in vain :o)))))

    Another thing is a financial feeling, that you bankrupted us. Well, we didn't know either that you did. There was just a feeling that all money disappear somewhere :o)))) Like, it's hopeless.
    Some blamed Cuba, others blamed Africa, etc. Various ideas re sponsored regions. My mum always blamed dad's subs, must say :o)))))

    It's years later we found out :o)))), that USSR lived on 20% of the budget, spending the other 80% on "catching up with the USA in the arms' race".

    It took about 10 years, no, since 1972-1974, 80% off, more.

    We are very patient, any other country where 80% of income is allocated for "catching up military with the USA" :o))))) I think, would complain about their gov. fancy somewhat earlier :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 10:58pm on 28 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp, careful with "Stalinist propaganda". It's the second time you post it. On top of "Russia land of mass rape and theft and murder".

    Keep to the numbers, if you want to continue talking, and stick your labels onto own fridge.

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 11:04pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    CC, you are very much mistaken. I attended the Universite' of Bordeaux school of medicine from September 1972 to February 1974. I lived in Talence, a suburb of Bordeaux. In the fall of 1973 I traveled around Spain, Portugal, and visited Paris before school started. I wanted to visit Italy but they had a cholera epidemic. I have a baccalaureat degree awarded to me by the Rector of the University of Bordeaux based on transmittal of my transcripts and degree in Engineering school in the US. This allowed me to enroll in medical school. Unlike Paris and other large European cities, few people spoke any English in Bordeaux. I had to learn French very quickly. I probably learned more French in the first three weeks I lived there than in three years in High School in the US.

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 11:44pm on 28 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "Of your bombs USSR was never scared a sec. We are light-minded people, compared to you."

    Ignorance may be bliss but what you don't know can kill you.

    In a all out nuclear war between the US and USSR during the height of the cold war, within 24 hours it is unlikely that anyone in either country would have been left alive. Most people in Europe and China would have been dead too. A year later, it is likely nobody anywhere would have been left alive. All of the movie portrayals of what the aftermath would have been like such as the American made for TV movie "The Day After" grossly understate the consequences. The scientists know better. The 1964 movie On The Beach portrays the last suvivors in Australia in the dwindling days before the last of them is dead from radiation sickness due to fallout.

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 00:04am on 29 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    WebAliceinwonderland - well, I would love to, but in that case, please stick to the truth, quit contriving numbers, quite inventing "ingternational laws" that do not exist, quit stating things that are not true and please keep the propaganda to yourself.

    Fact # 1 You world war 2 casualties as caused by Hitler alone were contrived.

    Fact # 2 You were talking through your hat when you said that Stalin and Hitler's assault on Poland was lawful.

    Fact # 3 Poland is not waging a war in any way shape or form against Russia. To say otherwise is to contrive Russia's next justification for a military aggression against Poland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 00:27am on 29 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "Another thing is a financial feeling, that you bankrupted us."

    The gambit of the Reagan administration was to escalate the nuclear arms race to bankrupt the USSR. It turned what had been a political and military conflict into an economic war, a war the USSR could not hope to win. In the process, both governmets were bankrupted. America's debt went from one trillion to four trillion dollars during the Reagan years. Today it is 14 trillion. For the USSR the government was 100% of the economy, in the US it was only about 20% of the economy. I don't think the US ever spent more than about 5 or 6 percent of GDP on its military during most of the cold war. Much of America's military costs are salaries for soldiers. Although they are not paid well by American standards, it is much more than soldiers of most other nations get.

    Military men think in terms of numbers. It's a stupid trap in a world of nuclear weapons. There was no way either side could win a nuclear war. It doesn't matter if you can destroy the other guy 10 times over or 5000 times over, one time is enough. Even Khrushchev knew that and said so to Kennedy. But the USSR generals and admirals during the Reagan years fell for the trick. The US military was asked by Congress when they complained about US military equipment which of their systems would they swap for their Soviet counterparts? Minuteman III for SS25s? Poseidon subs for Soviet subs? B52s for Soviet bombers? They wouldn't have traded any of them. But the US buildup and modernization was meant to alarm the Soviet military causing them to demand a counterbuildup on their side. The USSR used one million people to sift though Western documents for any manner of information that might be of use. I have to wonder how many of them spent their time reading Playboy Magazine and Hustler Magazine looking for information that might be of military use :-)

    The Pershing IIs installed in Germany alarmed Moscow. The USSR stirred up protests and anti-American feelings all over Western Europe in an effort to generate political pressure to block its deployment but it didn't work. The Pershings reduced the warning time Moscow would have of an attack from 30 minutes to five minuts. The SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative antiballistic missile system also known as Star Wars) also worried them a lot. Rediculous, it can't be made to work even to this day 25 years later. It's only value is to destroy one or a few ICBMs launched by mistake or by a country like Iran that would only have a few. Many including me are skeptical it will work. It is designed as a bullet to directly hit another bullet. It has no warhead. It could never be scaled up to stop a Soviet attack, impossible. The worry was for nothing but it alarmed the Soviets anyway.

    I wonder how the Soviet generals must have felt when they saw TV news footage of those smart bombs (JDAMS) go right down air conditioning shafts on roofs of Iraqi buildings or the pinpoint accuracy of the cruise missiles and radar invisibility of the Stealth Nighthawk F117 fighters in the 1991 war in Iraq. Very jealous I'll bet and hoping they'd never have to fight against them. The B-2 is one scary looking machine even to me and it's on my side.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdbpMOWGYGk

    It's original mission was to replace the B52. The Soviet government was very angry when President Carter decided not to build the B-1 supersonic bomber. They already had a defense against it. Being invisible to radar the B-1 was designed to penetrate Soviet air defenses and drop up to 50,000 pounds of hydrogen bombs on the USSR. But the cold war ended. That is why only 20 were built at a cost of one billion dollars each.

    Here's some video of the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter also invisible on radar. Also far more scary looking IMO than the much better F-22 which is replacing it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaDhVAjU9NA

    The strange angles on these black planes make them seem spooky to me. Looking at CNN's footage of the attack on Baghdad the first night of the war in January 1991 taken from the al Rashid hotel, you can see that the tracer bullets and antiaircraft fire were useless. By the time they were aimed anywhere near where the plane was, it was already long gone. Only a lucky shot could take one down as happened in Serbia in 1999.

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 00:43am on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    One thing is good :o) I am sure by now about :o) - no one will be able to read what I posted a year before. Simply hand gets tired to press "Older Older Older :o))))))
    ___________________________

    Sorry, Nik, someone from your side came and said this. If some delegation comes this May, five years later, and there are more news, I'll surely tell you. Even better come yourself!

    Army loss/Civillian loss

    1. Austria 230/104

    2. Belgium 12/76

    3. Bulgaria 10/10

    4. Czechoslovakia 300/1,400

    5. Denmark 04/1

    6. Finland 82/2

    7. France 250/350

    8. Germany 3,050/2,450

    9. Greece 12/198

    10. Holland 12/198

    11. Hungary 140/280

    12. Italy 330/80

    13. Jugoslavia 300/1,400

    14. Luxembourg 4/1

    15. Norway 6/4

    16. Poland 100/4,200/1,500*

    17. Romania 200/260

    18. UK 326/62

    19. USSR 8,600/19,400

    __________

    * 1,500 - Poland quoted as their count of "own" civillians loss in the "Eastern territories", who mistakingly constituted part of the USSR.



    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 01:40am on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Now, that's not the world, but "the world" didn't come to Moscow, so what's elsewhere we can only speculate as everybody else, judging by different sources.

    Overall Nik I agree with you, it shouldn't be historians judging other countries, but a combination of what each country thinks about itself.

    "The world" is this:
    (real bothered can't give a direct link to a page in Russian)
    But people fought I can copy.

    Albania 28,000/30,000
    Jugoslavia 277,000/750,000
    Australia 23,395/700
    USA 405,399/3,000
    Austria 280,000/140,000
    UK 286,200/92,673
    Belgium 12,500/74,000
    Thailand 5,600/123,000
    Brasil 943/1,000
    Switzerland 60/20
    Bulgaria 22,000/2,519
    Sweden /50
    Burma 30,000/1,070,000
    Spain 15,070/
    Canada 39,3000/
    USSR 10,465,000/15,760,000
    China 2,800,000/7,200,000
    South Africa 8,681/
    Cuba /100
    Singapore /80,000
    Chechoslovakia 35,000/335,000
    Romania 550,500/500,000
    Denmark 1,540/2,900
    Portugal Timor /55,000
    Ethiopia 250,000/610,000
    Poland 425,000/5,600,000
    Finland 69,000/1,000
    Pacific islands /57,000
    France 253,000/412,000
    Phillipines 40,000/960,000
    French Indo-China 1,000/2,020,000
    Norway 7,800/2,200
    Germany 4,360,000/1,440,000
    New Zealand 11,625/
    Greece 60,000/375,000
    Newfoundland 1,000/100
    Hungary 237,000/270,000
    The Netherlands 38,000/182,000
    Iceland /
    Mongolia 72/
    India 36,300/3,000,000
    Mexica /100
    Indonesia /4,000,000
    Malta 600/1,500
    Iran /200
    Malaysia /695,000
    Iraq 1,000/
    Luxembourg 2,200/1,800
    Ireland /200
    Livia /20,000
    Korea
    (as part of Japan)10,000/70,000
    Italy 374,000/105,000
    Japan 1,940,000/690,000
    ___________________________________________
    23,403,785/46,733,062

    plus wounded, soldiers, 45,296,825
    plus captured, soldiers, 28,490,052
    sorry can not hand copy the split by country, from the same table.

    I don't know, where it states nothing, zero or N/A.

    As I understand, this is what was considered by the UN General Asembly, when it took its resolution don't know which number can look, recommending all world UN member countries to celebrate 8th or 9th of May or both every year, in remembering the memory of the fallen in the 2ndWW.

    I am sure I lost Ethiopia somewhere, but can't find it now again, afraid all will get moved.


    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 02:12am on 29 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "I am sure I lost Ethiopia somewhere, but can't find it now again, afraid all will get moved."

    It's hard to lose an entire country. I'll bet if you had turned left instead of right you would have found it. Don't worry, Ethopia is right where it always was. It is very hard to move an entire country without anyone noticing it, especially when people are on the lookout for it...non more so than Ethopians themselves :-)

    Here's the night Saddam Hussein lost Baghdad. This shock and awe moment was made for Hollywood by the Pentagon. Funny, after it happend, we never saw it on American TV again. I was so sorry I didn't have my VCR running to tape it. It must have gone on for a good half hour or more. Here's just some of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aEvzuA4f0c

    The targets were mostly government buildings, ministries and such, telecommunications buildings, military targets and the like. It was said at one point the Iraqis in Baghdad has so much confidence in the accuracy of American targeting that they went outside to watch it themselves, not afraid they might get killed by a stray bomb. Must be strange to watch your own city go up in smoke as an evening's entertainment.

    You can see how useless the flares would be trying to visually spot the matte black F-117 planes against the black sky. In war, America owns the night and the sky.

    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 02:15am on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Chris Camp,
    you are
    anyway

    1.
    I don't "contrive" numbers. I copy them. I did not go around and count.
    I give them as we know them in Russia.
    You know otherwise - well, it seems many historians "know otherwise".
    They "contrive"? Even your Encyclopaedia Britannica, when choosing a source?

    2. Stick to the truth. I stick to the truth. I've got no reasons not to.
    What is your "truth"? "Russia land of mass rape, theft and murder"?
    I think you are insane.

    3. Quit inventing international laws.
    I don't invent. I am sure when a country attacks another, all previous agreements between them struck during previous centuries about borders, when they border - become void. We use that law, and use successfully, shielding off Japan's claims on her "historical territories as are to belong by Japan by previous Japan-Russian Empire agreements". Since after they attacked Russian Empire in 1905 - the Agreements Russian Empire signed with them re islands split between the countries, two agreements of the 19th century, became void. Don't attack.
    Once again, I did not "invent it", especially for you.
    Though I think it's useless to tell you, double, triple or quadriple.
    It kicks off you, as hard peas off the wall.

    3. Keep the propaganda to yourself - keep your propaganda to yourself.
    Your "propagand" here against Russia. I am not attempting at anyone, or have a goal to "protect" any thing. But Russia overall - yes.

    4. Talking through your hat, when said Stalin and Hitler's assault at Poland was lawful.

    Didn't say anything of the kind. Didn't discuss Hitler's assault at all.
    On Stalin's assault - gave the background, never said it is "lawful".

    5. What else. for crying out loud.
    "Poland is not waging a war in any way shape or form against Russia. To say otherwise is to contrive Russia's next justification for a military aggression against Poland."

    I don't understand your word "contrive", as a side note. I thought it means "falsify", from your previous posts.

    Russia is absolutely sure Poland exactly waged a war against it, a PR war, assisted with the Baltic states. These set of countries applied to the European Council with a Proposal, to institute a day of "Stalin and Hitler assault on Europe remembrance". Fact. They applied. They not only applied, but campaigned. With posters, in the EU Council. For a long time. We have a rep there, we saw this all. Who apllied, when, and how they insisted. Because nobody hurried to look into that proposal, and take any resolutions based on it, vote it through. It lay void, until August 2008, Georgian war, when the group of campaigning countries cheered up, and campaigned their proposal is finally voted upon again.
    In September 2008 it was voted for by the majority of EU council members, under the shouts "in 3 days Russia will take Tbilisi and kill Saakashvili".

    Equalling Stalin to Hiotler we take as a personal offence.
    On the basis of those "numbers" you exactly don't want to see blind.
    On the basis of Russia under Stalin rule - exactly putting an end to Hitler.
    Which you can't see blind "propaganding" these were two bosom friends.
    Two bosom friends, whose each country lost most in the 2ndWW, if not to count China. Love eternal to this day.

    You can't see the difference between Stalin and Hitler blind (and they are not at this time "Stalin and Hitler", all name them for the war time parties - mean - Russia and Germany) because as you wrote "freedom and democracy" - that;s what the Germans "chose", and "were not forced".

    I have a surprise for you - they didn't "chose" nil - until Red Army took Berlin. You debunk Russian role, in Europe being able to have "freedom and democracy". And following improvement, enrichment times, as you cared to note "you can't compare Murmansk ugh"


    For bringing to Europe "democracy and enrichment" - Russia has no claims. We couldn't bring what we haven't had. Thank the USA, for both.

    As to freedom - freedom from Hitler was brought to Europe by Russia. And Stalin. even if you choke at this point - it is true.

    Freedom from Stalin - was brought to Europe by Russia and the USA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 02:37am on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius,
    we have army separated from the state :o), like the church was, in the USSR.
    I mean, physically, from the population. You didn't see uniforms here and don't, but on V-day and before - twice a year, Revolution day parade and V-day parade. When they get out, from their distant garrisons, away from any nearby town, by definition, with no roads to.

    So they lived, how to say, a parallel life. Space allows. May be they wanted to tell us alarming news :o), I suppose that badly wanted :o)))about various USA developments - but couldn't :o))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 02:51am on 29 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It's all too complex for this simple American mind to absorb and comprehend. Germany against Poland, Poland against Russia, Germany against Russia, Russia against Turkey, Turkey against Greece, Kosovo against Serbia, France and England against Serbia. Serbia agaist Turkey, Walloons against Flemish, Basque against Castillians, Slovaks against Hungarians, Finns against Russians, how does one sort this mess out? The heir to the throne in the Balkins is assassinated and three years later France and Britain are enganged in endless stalemated trench warfare with Germany in the fields of France that is eating up an entire generation of youth on both sides. President Washington was exactly right when he warned that America should stay out of European intigues and alliances. What a fool Woodrow Wilson was for getting us involved in the first place and inadvertently contributing to the causes of another world war a generation later.

    I don't know what freedom or democracy America brought to Europe but the sacrifice to America wasn't worth it. There seems to be no gratitude for it, just resentment. As Clare Booth Luce once quipped: "no good deed goes unpunished." America should get out of Europe once and for all and stay out. This is not America's affair and never was. Why should Americans have cared who won World War I? If it had stayed out, there might not have been a World War II. America doesn't have now and never had a special relationship with Britain. That was all a British invention in their own minds. Today the as much as admitted it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 03:00am on 29 Mar 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    "May be they wanted to tell us alarming news :o), I suppose that badly wanted :o)))about various USA developments - but couldn't :o))))"

    Maybe they didn't want you to know that their policy of trying to dominate the world could never succeed because a power able and willing to wipe out the entire human race to prevent it was on hair trigger alert to do just that. That knowledge might have led ordinary Soviet citizens to consider that their government might just be insane and that it would be better to try to change it than continuing to go down a road that led inevitably to suicide.

    Perhaps Americans more than any other people understand the danger of al Qaeda because what Americans have in common with al Qaeda is a willingness to fight and die for principle at the unlimited cost of human lives no matter whose. The differece is that we think their cause is one of insanity and ours is not. From their point of view, they see it the other way around.

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 07:11am on 29 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    1.) and 2.) well, it depends on *where* you copied your numbers from. You are yet to say, where you got those numbers from that counted down the casualties down to the last person. Those numbers where contrived. The intellectually honest thing to do here would be to admit that you made them up.

    3.) it is obvious that you are peddling Stalinist propaganda. You are saying that Stalin brought Europe "freedom". Well I guess the German Nazis would have claimed the same. If Stalin had not "liberated" Europe from Hitler, then I guess Hitler would have "liberated " Europe from Stalin. If man who has cancer dies from aids, does that make aids a good disease, because it saved the man from dying from cancer? I do not think so.

    4.) The German-Russia assault on Poland was one and the same thing. Ever heard of the Hitler-Molotov agreement? Hitler and Stalin were good friends. They used the same methods, murder, genocide and theft. Then, as all psychopaths do, when they ran out of targets that could not defend themselves, they started having at each other.

    5.) Russia did nothing in the way to liberate Europe. They kept all of eastern Europe in slavery for 40 years after they finally had to yield to the west's economic and moral superiority. By the same token, one must simply repudiate the obscene propaganda that Europe was liberated from Stalin by the "U.S. and Russia". If it had not been for the U.S., the Russians would not only have enslaved all of eastern Europe but all of Europe and possibly would have directed its imperialist ambitions toward the U.S. itself.

    It is quite obvious that the Russian enslavement of eastern Europe did not constitute "freedom" from anything. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Romania - once-great civilisations were for 40 years condemned to vegetate under a system that kept them from being economically successful and any attempt in those countries to modernise their societies and accomplish freedom was brutally crushed by the red army. Of course, eastern Europe would not have looked any better if the Germans had won the region. However, painting the Russians as liberators, who kept half a continent in an open-air prison facility for 40 years, is simply an obescene and gratuitous lie.

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 12:55pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris Camp... yes alright but in the above you forget that it was not Russians but USSR which was different. Russia was never interested in conquering Europe, quite the opposite, Britain was anxious in containing Russia and possibly destroying it. Having failed in the Krimean war, the communist trick was imported and imposed upon Russians with US/British money channeled via Switzerland.

    Do I need to say where the chief communists came from in 1917? Whose train were they riding in the night till Russian borders? And whose money did they had with them?

    There was certainly no moral superiority of the west. Propaganda superiority maybe. But not moral. Yes it was the USSR that installed the gulags but that only because the west had instructed so.

    50 million Russians and other nationalities died under the USSR regime, far more than any other Eastern European country thus blaming todays' Russians on that is immoral. Russia prior to communism had been for long one of the most (if not the most) civilised nation in Europe, with a culture predating all modern western cultures (perhaps including Italians since Russians appeared on the scene in the late 9th century while Italians as Italians and not Lombards emerged in the late 10th), down to the basics only fellow-slavs Bulgarians are older than them. And Russia for long have been the shield of Europe resisting the darkness of the Mongolic and Ottoman Empires. And it was the liberator of Eastern Europeans. They liberated Ukrainians (who now forget how much they cried for Russian help against their slavemasters), they aided the liberation of slavic countries of the Balkans from the horrible Ottoman Empire after having contributed earlier to the liberation of Greeks (though they had let them terribly down in the previous revolution of 1770, during Orloff's wars). I do not even need to mention what was the stance of the British, French, Austrians and Italians (who prefered the dark Ottoman Empire where it was...).

    Certainly not, there was never any moral advantage of the west, never. And in today's world 1 Vladimir has much more moral advantage to attack Georgia which unleashed an attack against Abkhazians and Ossetians who are Russian Federetion citizens (because Georgia wanted it that way! they did not want them as Georgian citizens!) when US has - while unprovoked - attacked Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afganistan, Somalia, Panama and threatens to attack anywhere else in the world if it feels so.

    Speak of any advantage apart moral cos there is not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 2:12pm on 29 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    oh, here we go again - the evil "dark" Ottoman empire. Let's juxtapose the Ottoman empire at the apex of its history, around the time of Suleiman the Magnificent with northern Europe at the same time (1494-1566) -

    Ottoman Empire - freedom of religion and almost equal rights for the three Abrahamic religions except for the dhimmi tax on Christians and Jews plus exclusion from military service

    Christian Europe - persecution of Jews on a daily basis, Jews forced to live in ghettos

    Ottoman Empire - a powerhouse of science and technology, at the very forefront of research in mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine.

    Christian Europe - ignorance, any attempt at question the Christian Catechism was punishable by death

    Ottoman Empire - the rule of law and peace within the land, relative civility

    Christian Europe - spontaneous witch hunts, pogroms against Jews and "heathens", superstition, utter barbarity.

    Once again, this demonisation of the Ottoman Empire is an attempt to forge a "separate" history of the Balkans that seeks to ethnically cleanse the Turks and all the great contributions the Turks made towards their civilisation from their history. Rather than facing up to the truth and admitting to how much they owe the cultural and scientific achievements of the Ottomans, the people in the Balkans, nation after nation, recede into a state of collective Alzheimer's and fabricate a continuity to ancient Macedonians(Macedonia), ancient Greeks(Greece), ancient Illyrians(Albania) and so forth. It is sad to see a region where civilisation once blossomed recede into a cesspit of reactionary thought and intellectual decline like that.

    A quick answer to two statements in your post Nik -

    a.) Russia used to be "the most civilised" nation in Europe? How so? And how do you measure that? How were they more civilised than the Poles and the French? Or the Ottomans? Or the Bavarians? Or the Swiss?

    b.) NATO's attack was (although admittedly I was against the attack) not unprovoked. It was an -admittedly clumsy- reaction to Milosevic's intransigence and his policy of ethnically cleansing Kosovo of all Albanians.
    About Georgia, it would seem to me that Russia was giving masses of people Russian passports in preparation of the theft and permanent annexation Abkhazia and Ossetia. NATO, when it attacked Yugoslavia, did not want to steal any Yugoslavian territory. Russia had the clear intention of annexing Georgian territory.
    What I am more concerned about is not so much territory is being stolen. Things like that happened in history, one could almost say it is not such a big deal when you look in any history book, but according to international law, it is impermissible to acquire territory by war. The UN is very clear about that. What worries me most is who it is that is stealing the territory. An power that annexes territory needs to have something to offer. If it has nothing to offer than decline and poverty, the it loses all the legitimacy it was ever going to have. If you look at the once-prosperous Polish, German, Finnish, Japanese and Caucasian territories that Russia has annexed over the decades and centuries, you will find that the once wealthy cities, villages and farms in those regions are now horribly dilapidated and neglected. Russia essentially has two cities it looks after - St. Petersburg and Moscow. Virtually everything else between and around the two cities as well as on the wide plains beyond the Ural mountain range, is a wasteland studded here with concrete tower blocks and nuclear reactors, which are neglected into a state that turned them into disasters waiting to happen. The people who live in those dwellings are more often than not reduced to a life of alcoholism and dementia, the only escape from their hopeless existence. I have seen these dwelling several times and it is the most depressing thing imaginable.

    The problem is, therefore, that Russia seems to have one ambition. It seems to be such that the whole world must look like Russia. There are two functioning cities - Moscow and St Petersburg. Everything else must be reduced to an impoverished wasteland, interspersed with concrete tower blocks and nuclear reactors. Kaliningrad, Lwow, the territory stolen from Finland, the islands taken from Japan, and now the territory effectively annexed from Georgia, give you a very good idea of what happens to regions that fall in Russian hands. Russia, for a very long time now, has shown very little interest in developing internally. It just wants to expand and expand and make all the civil and cultural progress in the civilisations it annexes disappear.

    There are critical voices within Russia that call for democracy and a change of direction. But it is the country where since 1989 over 150 journalists have been murdered. The west must be proactive in limiting Russian expansionism. The Americans should stay in Europe and Europeans should make that attractive to America (i.e. reward America's help generally and show more respect).

    About Iraq and Afghanistan - I do not understand people who were against those wars. Saddam Hussein, for example, was a dictator who kept his own population hostage. He fed political opponents, feet first in industrial shredders and made other people watch the horrible scene. Iraq, with all the problems it admittedly has, is a better place without him and his two disgusting sons.

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 4:26pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris, you are ignorant of these issues, why do you open them out of the question? Where you a subject of the Ottoman Empire to know? Have you read what Roumanians, Serbians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrochaldeans, Georgians, Ukrainians and all other christians - and even muslims - wrote about the Ottoman Empire? So all these are sad losers and liars and Turks are correct?

    Take this (and I can add millions of things, do not need Generalissimo to come and add more...).

    Ottoman glory
    - Ottomans were lucky to have the compromise of all the Arabs and the collaboration of desperate orthodox Christians who were massacred and in places genocided by rogue crusaders. Whoever, they remained far from absolute control due to their internal lack of real power. All Ionian islands remained under Italian conquest since liberation. Whole regions in mountainous Greek mainland could be seen as fully independent as no Ottoman law applied and whenever Ottoman army tried to subdue them they were bashed out. Suleiman was so Magnificent and so great that could not even conquer Corfu from the pathetically small in relation to his Empire, Italian city of Venice. He took Rhodes from some rogue knights only after huge difficulty. In general Ottomans would go only where it was easy to go and they would stop whenever it took them considerable time and effort.

    From there on Ottoman Sultans ruled or pretended to rule since the real power was in the hands of local pashas who were trying to maintain in power through a network of local militias, in Europe mainly Albanians to raid and loot, then Greek "armatoloi" (or Bulgarian, Serbian "baiduks" etc.) to fight off the raiding Albanians in a divide and conquer game that of course finally wore their own position as christian armed self-defending populations were multiplying. Ottoman Empire, what was meant to be a brief aberration for what was up to the 15th century the most progressed part of the world (at least speaking of the west) was collapsing even since early 18th century and it was only the intervention of Britain, France and Austria that saved its complete dissolution for apparent reasons.

    The Ottoman Empire was never respectful of any other religion . The fact that Ottomans let Christians survive is totally different to the lack of tolerance of westerners towards muslims (what muslims? In England or Danemark?) in Europe – and do not tell me that Christian colonists massacred and genocided muslims in the their colonies in Africa, India and Indonesia! Muslims in Spain were seen as invaders that over-stayed in the land and not as locals and locals that converted were seen as traitors and as such they were kicked out. Christians in the Balkans were at home, they had invaded no-one to be kicked out. There is a a substantial difference! Ottomans needed the Christians there to use them as a human pool. There was a first wave of islamisation based mainly on the disaffected ,the sects, the “not so focused” population of central Minor Asia (you have to know who lived there to understand this…..is it accidental that apart Greeks and Armenians almost all other ethnic groups of Minor Asia converted? Why was that?). From there on the other Christians largely resisted islamisation and Ottomans entered in a circle of local wars. It had taken them 400 years after their arrival in Minor Asia and more than 200 years after the destruction of the Byzantine Empire to expand their control thanks to the acceptance of the tired local Christians that suffered in the hands of Crusaders which consists a very bad record of conquest so imagine now getting on to convert all these people or to kill them all… certainly they could not do that, they were not in position to do so. And even if they did that would leave the Empire without hands and brains – it is not accidental that were islamificaiton prevailed, backwardness and darkness fell (shown that Turkey was the only “Empire” which fell and its ruling class was instantly found more poor, more uneducated and 10 times more backwards than any other nation). In 19th century Serbians had Tesla (the man behind the 20th century!) and Greeks Karatheodoris (the man behind relativity), what had the masters Turks to show? Genocider Emver pasha? What Ottomans did really good all the 400 years of their rule was to do mini-genocides, to clear local populations, to steal millions of Christian kids and turn them on against their own relatives in a perverse way – and today you come here today to admire this coward and sick establishment as “great”. Only an ill mind can do so.

    Tolerance:
    Christians were not free. They were subject to the will of any random local muslim. Lands, houses, children, women, animals and their bodies and souls were all subject to the will of just any random local muslim. If locals reacted and killed a muslim criminal (just one!) the muslims would close themselves in the local castle and from there call in the Albanians to raid in and slaughter and loot for free until subjugation. That is the way it went. There was no way to find justice apart taking a sword and killing the Turks and Albanians (i.e. Turkalbanians, they were practically 1 group). The inhuman treatment by muslims led only in the region of Greeks to have 35 major local rebellions out of which 4 were major revolutions with 2 of them having severe implications internationally – one was the 1770 rebellion (during the Orloff wars) and the other of course the 1821 (the Great revolution – but the 1770 was actually as extended).

    As for the treatment against Jewish – it is the most ridiculous to use them as a measure of tolerance, since the truth is that themselves were part of the intolerant Ottoman structure!!!. Ottomans used the Jewish in order to avoid using anyone else in critical positions. While the Romaniotes (old Greek community which is a separate branch of Judaism) had excellent relationship with Greek Christians and were fully integrated in the Greek society, the newly arrived Spanish Ladino Jewish resented the Greeks. They say if you are treated badly you will treat badly and that is what they did to Christians mainly Greeks whom they saw as competitors. In the city of Thessaloniki at times you could be killed for speaking Greek. Ottomans had noted tha tthey were surprised by the fervour of Ladino Jewish against Greek. On the opposite Romaniotes Jewish kept a lower profile and avoided contact with Ladinos while Ladinos also showed contempt for them viewing them as “too Greek to be Jewish” i.e. there also a lot of tensions and endo-jewish racism between their 2 main communities, not to mention later the 3 one, the Donmes, Ladinos that became nominally muslims.

    Ottoman science
    You mentioned that the Ottoman Empire had been a powerhouse of science and technology, at the very forefront of research in mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine. Y o u m u s t b e j o k i n g !!! So they produced science in the 16th century and in 17th they forgot everything about it in the span of 1-2 generations?
    What happened Chris? Can you tell us? Perhaps… I say perhaps it is not at all Ottoman science but just copies of older Greek & Persian books while most of their “wise men” were actually mature converts for the very simply reason that no Ottoman learnt foreign languages apart Arabic to read the Koran. Once, the islamisations stopped, their so called “science”waned. The Ottomans had not built universities, they had built Mandrasas where Koran was the law.
    Chris…wake up…and face the reality. We are talking about Ottomans! No Renaissance there! Just continuous regression in a Dark Age that the area had never passed before.despite the whatever wars. This is the Empire that had totally forbidden printing and anyone that traded printed books was beheaded. Greeks printed in Italy and Austria. Where did you see the enlightenment? If you knew how to read and write but you were not part of their administration you risked death.anytime anywhere.

    Now you mention:
    Ottoman Empire - the rule of law and peace within the land, relative civility

    35 major revolts, 2 main revolutions and 2 major revolutions of international repercussions… that is about 1 rebellion every 10 years throughout their 400 year of rule!!!! And that is what we know cos we terribly lack the archives – e.g. the 16th and 17th centuries are very very badly recorded by Ottomans themselves, in the 18th we start having the illegal prints of Greeks that give us the idea.

    You also mention
    Christian Europe - spontaneous witch hunts, pogroms against Jews and "heathens", superstition, utter barbarity.

    So the spontaneous witch hunts, pongroms and even more, downright massacre and local mini genocides against Greeks are tolerated by you (do you have anything against us?), and only the treatment towards Jewish according to you can be a measure of tolerance. Fantastic point of view!.

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 5:28pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    CC,
    I answer the last time.

    Your attachment to "all things Russian" is un-satiable; you grass-hop from century to century, from geography to geography.
    Wriggle away from direct answers, not admitting when you should stand corrected, but inventing new areas/times/examples/options instead.

    Russia is large, and has been around from the 9th century, as Nik correctly points out. From the 9th - starts the consequitive Christian tsar format, and as pagan Rus - even before.

    As they say, "One fool will ask in five minutes questions, that one clever won't answer in his life".

    You are yet to say..." "contrived.. the numbers to the last figure... intellectually honest"

    Portal 2nd ww, in Russian, section loss in the second world war.
    Portal 2nd ww, in English, has a similar table, in absolutely the same signing and colours used and flags and references given in brackets.

    The English version, that likely once was the original for the version in Russian, (by now?) lost the columns "wounded" and "POW" and instead got a column "Jewish of them, in particular". Therefore I think the slight variation in numbers.
    At the bottom of the table in English it states "numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100".

    Start from English page in wiki for the World War II, there is a link square on top, on the right, opening the large 2ndWW Portal.
    "a Portal" as I understood, differs froma wiki page in being detailed and huge, viewing the war from many different sides, includes vast data by sector and ? by battle, by kind of troops, cross-comparisons, fiscal side reviews, constant flow of newly published articles and researches (The same Portal in Russian gives translations of articles in English, and own researches in Russian details and German articles, and French, far wider). Though of course the Portal in English has peculiar sections like "comfort women".
    I don't know if the Portal in English is kept by Americans or the British. Haven't read enough to get the slant; satisfied with own Russian.


    "If man who has cancer dies from aids, does that make aids a good disease, because it saved the man from dying from cancer? I do not think so."

    At the very least, life "under Russian aids" took into account interests of those who were un-compatible with "Hitler cancer".

    Slavs, Jewish and even the minimalistic minority of Gypsy - also wanted to live. Even that plenty of European a civilised a country found they get along with "Hitler cancer" quite well and can continue so not only for 5-6 years but , actually, indefinitely. Like, many voices in Romania, in the Germanised Baltic States, in Finland said the Russians shouldn't have bothered, they were absolutely fine as they are.

    Check the BBC NEWS front page Europe, there is a telling perspective of one of those majorities, who found life under Hitler Cancer incompatible with life, she's 85 and exactly was visiting Oswentsim.

    The admired by you morals of the Western Ukraine, Lwow, or whatever you quoted, carrying on the gene of the Polish civilisation onwards, from the times of the Middle Ages (the Great and Mighty Polish Federation Of Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia and Ukraine of 1500 something) - was the ONLY place in the USSR where German Jewish "processing" stable facility was installed.

    You never wondered why no German concentration camps were installed in the USSR but in Western Ukraine? And even there - nothing "scientific", no stoves, experiments, just mass murder of one arriving Jewish after another - into the pits.
    1/2 USSR was occupied, for that matter, deeply and profoundly.
    What prevented Germans to install their favoured famous "facilities", like in Poland or Eastern Europe elsewhere?

    I think the difference is partisan population, they never felt safe a sec.



    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 6:09pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:


    You said
    Once again, this demonisation of the Ottoman Empire is an attempt to forge a "separate" history of the Balkans that seeks to ethnically cleanse the Turks and all the great contributions the Turks made towards their civilisation from their history. Rather than facing up to the truth and admitting to how much they owe the cultural and scientific achievements of the Ottomans, the people in the Balkans, nation after nation, recede into a state of collective Alzheimer's and fabricate a continuity to ancient Macedonians(Macedonia), ancient Greeks(Greece), ancient Illyrians(Albania) and so forth. It is sad to see a region where civilisation once blossomed recede into a cesspit of reactionary thought and intellectual decline like that.

    Thank you for proving how much ignorant you are about Balkans and how much you actually despise these people – what others would call racism.

    First, tMacedonia is a region that is north of Olympus and around the North Aegean and has nothing to do with ex-Jugoslav territories which, apart the border city of Monastiri, were all part of Bulgaria – ask not me, ask Generalissimo on that. The whole issue is an affair that communist dictator Tito started with all the amazing propaganda that communist regimes could enforce on their subjects so as to claim Greek territories in the south as well as from Bulgaria in the east.

    Second, Albanians never claimed any ancestry from Illyrians until quite recently – and it was Italians that first taught them so being their new colonial power. For the record, Illyrians were living in modern day Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia so if anything Albanians find themselves considerably shifted in the south while up to the 19th century it was the Croatians only that spoke of Illyrians as their ancestors. Now it is also the Bosnians. Their relationship to ancient Illyrians is strongly debated, and I will leave it to science.

    Third, you mingled the above different cases in a machiavellian way with the case of Greeks which not only is known but is the best monitored nation in human history and we have 1000 times more material on them than any other nation in the world. So when you speak about “Greek illusions of ancient Greece” you are just showing you ignorance and I-do-not-know-what-more. I need not even reply to this lowly affirmation. The case of Greece has been also the most studied by modern historians, anthropologists and even biologists simply for being an interesting case of continuity of an ancient people in the region.

    a.) Russia of 12th century was lightyears ahead of the nations you mentioned. I remember a Russian princess sent to France in the early 13th century – what was back then the largest and nominally the most powerful kingdom in Europe – and she nearly suicided with the pathetic level of culture she found in the palace (so make your own conclusions on the rest). Polish came much later than Russians and expanded to the east during the difficulties that Russians had with the Mongol excursions as part of the catholic expansion to the east. They were not that bad like Germans but they never reached of course the depth of the Russian civilisation. And while I view very positively the Polish (they were much more civilised than Germans of those times), the difference is that Polish were a culture, Russians a whole civilisation. You mentioning the Ottomans is simply laughable.

    b.) NATO's attack was (although admittedly you were against the attack) not unprovoked? It was an -admittedly clumsy- reaction to Milosevic's intransigence and his policy of ethnically cleansing Kosovo of all Albanians.? Eeeee no it did not happen that way. You know nothing about it. Kosovar mafia groups did an underground ethnic cleansing throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the form of local mafias that attacked Serbian ethnic people only thus technically reducing the Serbian population in the area – all that with Tito’s tolerance (him a Croatian, did not sympathise with Serbian cause). In the 1980s the situation was on its limit and Serbian people cried out against the injustice and the lack of protection from these mafias. The new Yugoslav leadership sent special police forces – like any other civilised state would do. Milosevich cancelled their autonomy, which might had been a bad political move but anyway this was Yugoslav soil, and thus was legitimate given the lack of order. During Jugoslav wars, Serbians had a tight control over Albanian mafias and tried to talk with moderate Kosovar leader Ibraim Rugova (an honest man that sought a peaceful solution). But US put aside Rugova and talked directly with the thugs first arming them so in 1995 Serbians sent in more special police forces and put them down (imagine, not any army!), then in 1998 Albright had talks with common gangster Thatchii (trained in the US) and armed his troops with modern material like US/EU-made Stingers (where do you think they found them?). Milosevich was forced to send in the army. Kosovars fled the Serbian army – and the whole issue of 700,000 refugees is questionable as Serbians did not do any active cleansing (it was more the Albanian clans that were taking back their families away from the frontline themselves created) and thus US found the excuse to bomb Serbia.

    As for Georgia, I have talked with a very knowledgeable Armenian (Phd level education) who knows well the region and he verified what I had in mind, i.e. that Georgians since their independence sought to do a soft ethnical cleansing i.e. give negative motives to Abkhasians, Ossetians and Armenians to leave Georgia to create a homogeneous state. They forbid any other language and imposed Georgian knowledge as a pre-requisite to have a Georgian citizenship and a passport – something that your bad Milosevitch never did upon Albanians in Kosovo. Abkhazians and Ossetians and Armenians and other groups were left for years as a non-citizens before turning to Russia which alarmed by the US implication in Georgia jumped in to give them Russian nationality.

    Now when you say NATO did not steal territory from Yugoslavia is the most funny thing I have heard lately. NATO is not a country but a group of interests. And given it has its fanatics (Croatians, Bosnians, Albanians) it very well stole lands from Yugoslavia, a country it dismembered and massacred. Accusing Russia of stealing land form others is also funny. The Courilles islands were never part of historic Japan. The 90% of Siberia was never part of any other Empire other than the Tatars, enemies of Russians who lost and frankly Russians had not other choice but to absorb them to erase the danger. As Tatar clans fell the one after the other and as Siberia was vast and non-populated, Russians found themselves in the Pacific. Yes they took lands from the Finnish, I think Karelia or something like that. From Polish they took what? The lands that are western Bielorussia and western Ukraine perhaps? Well yes but they made sure Polish take German lands, who else would had done that for them? If Polish want their historic lands, then let them come and get them from Bielorussians and Ukrainians– Russians will absorb the rest and it will be better for them and worse for Polish who do not want borders with them – but then Polish will have also to give to Germans all the German lands they were given. As simple as that.

    As for preferring the Americans, that is your problem, but know that an increasing number of Europeans is fed up with them and would much rather see deeper co-operation with the more egalitarian Russia. We do not care what they do inside their county. We as European countries need a real trading partner and why not, in future an ally. Russians live next to us, they live and die with us they do not watch us from afar. Russians lose when our economies are bad since we consume less. They are not interested in conquering or in damaging their own clients, for the same reason no shopkeeper would attack 1 client to get his wallet…

    As for the internal problems you mention, that is the post-communist hangover. Go back and search were came communism and how Russian really it was. Telling me about alcolism is something I understand, Russia has a tragic record but then this does not help when I see the levels of alcoholism in other better-off eastern European countries (eg. I have worked with Polish, nice people but when you see the welders dragging one the other in the morning smelling from 1 km to go to weld… welll… that is something!) or western European ones (do a round the capital of solidarity, Paris and measure the… SDFs. Find a sober and give him 100 euros for congratulations, don’t worry you won’t lose any money). As for the 150 journalists murdered that is about 10 journalists per yea so what? Same thing happens in US didn’t your friends tell you? The difference is that Russians are more honest and put a bullet, in US they will do it with car accidents and poisoning or other “natural deaths”. In post-communist era Russians are not masters of propaganda but US is. Keep an eye on those journalists, they all happen to have strong international connections. Anna Politovskaya, the most well known case was working for foreigners. Kasparov, the best chess player of all times is a ridiculous figure who is not even Russian but Azerbaitzani (who are fanatically pro-US). Russians tell him to go back to his country and stop pretending to be Russian, he claims to be USSRusian citizen to justify his presence in Russia. He was an ex-supporter of Yeltchin and very keen on seeing Russia on its knees, nothing more than a western agent. Of course Russians deal with him nicely as no-one takes him seriously in Russia, they know he is not even a traitor, his is an ethnic Azerbaitzani who is an enemy of Russia. The ex-spy Litvinenko was posined in London by co-spy Lugovoi for being their traitor, his end was 100% expected as he had been a spy, not a civilian! This is standard practice to all spy networks, it is just that British who expected collaboration from Litvinenko made it an issue. Utterly ridiculous.

    If we continue like that we may reduce the number of 150 people to a mere 30-40 people which if not the same then might be much less (certainly not more) than the US citizens thatUS governments killed to shut up their mouths.

    You are biased towards US and against Russians. I am neutral. I am not Russian, not a Slav. I am Greek and us Greeks are too always weary of Slavs and Russians are big Slavic daddies. Ask not me, ask Generalissimo on that to explain it better to you.

    I suggest you read Emanuel Todd. He is a French (of Jewish origins) writer who happens to be a brilliant politologue and writer. He has written the “After the Empire: an essay on the decomposition of the american system” published in 2002 but written actually prior to the 2001 attacks and prior to the ascension and establishment of Vladimir Putin. It might give you an idea of what we are talking.

    Complain about this comment

  • 247. At 6:52pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Thus, I understand that many a town could have fared better, if it were not Russian but stayed a Hitler company. But Russians also had own interest, to live. To say nothing of Jewish, in Vilnius and Ukraine.
    As minimum, "Russian aids" period in Eastern Europe did not include Oswentsim and the likes chimney smoking across and yellow stars on co-citisens of European cities.

    Yes, I think it was better. And there was a lot, for us to liberate Europe from.

    That economically the region fared worse than the West - no denial.
    We shared with them all we could. Sorry, haven't had ourselves better to offer. Post-war ruin, to restore 1/2 country - without any "Marshal plans". Soviet "planned" economy inefficiency. -80% off , for "catching up with the US", military expense. Etc.

    Still, the region fared better than the Russian Federative Republic itself. No one yet even questioned it, level of life, economic comparison. We financed them, at our expense.
    Not a very typical "metropolis" and "its colonies" arrangement, to put it softly. No wonder you can't figure it out.
    "slavery", I remind you, is when you leech on someone.

    Finally, I point out we relieved them, ourselves. To what degree economic failure played a role in it - is still questioned. It is not the only possible scenario, to close the shop when one is economically a cripple. Many in the world traditionally get aggressive at this stage.
    Or raise up the draw bridges, like North Korea. Examples of poor and aggressive countries - a myriad. Examples of poor and peaceful, admitting own mis-deeds and fixing them, better late than never - not so much, how to say.

    "would have enslaved whole Europe", "could have enslaved whole Europe" - that's your personal hallucinations. Hasn't - fact. Could - 100% - in 1945 - fact. Did. Not.

    what was there else?
    "rape, mass rape, and double rape, of children and women in Eastern Germany"

    the amount of time you said "rape" I even start thinking you are specially attracted to the notion.

    why not "babies"? next we hear of dogs, may be, little white fluffies, who fell victim to Red Army?

    Yes, Red Army raped women in East Germany. In the heat of the initial blast into German cities. When commandment realised what is taking place, pillagers and rapists and bandits were shot, "by the law of the military time". Without any "courts" and long thinking - executed.
    No "explanations" "but they hanged my family, at home - I have to nothing to return to!" or military stars of the rank were taken into account.

    Bad. Awful. Took place - yes.

    For that matter - occupied Russia has not seen a single instance of the "civilised" Gwerman army, executing THEIR man, for raping a local.
    Second rate people, what to bother. Animals.
    And the quantity of German-Russian children post war is very high.
    There were special committes sitting, thinking what to do with these women. Nothing good planned for them, in the Soviet style. To register these children, at all? as children born, and citizens of the USSR? to pack to Gulag, mother and off-spring? Gulags weren't applied, but registering for a nursery or a kinder-garten was a problem. To say nothing of any state aid, to a single mother.

    Oh what about German army executions for their rank who buried families alive in Belorussia? Mum would dig a grave, children would watch, then all "to step down".

    "There was nothing to liberate Europe from", "you haven't liberated" - eat up your words, together with the earth, from these graves.

    You can speculate for centuries, how "Hitler and Stalin were friends, because they used the same methods".

    "The methods" of Stalin did not cause the 2nd world war. They harmed us, most and foremost, internally. What you see as Stalin spill-over - he thought "absolutely domestic". Russia territory, for hundreds of years, and of just 20 years' ago standing.
    He did not know, sorry, he acts "international" in the Baltics , Belarus or Ukraine. Neither - Poland. Even a Georgian mafia was of idea it is - "Russia". Go carve him out of the wall - nobody guards him there - it's not Lenin - and explain him his 3 years of parish church school didn't give him enough of an int'l law angle.
    65% of Gulags - were "ethnic Russians". Another 30 - Ukrainians. All the rest - 1-digit percentage. He harmed us, and we are to judge him, not you, with your assumed high "morals".

    I can't remember a single army, from that endless "Loss" list who took to arms, because "Stalin rules in Russia". "Let's announce war to neighbour, on either side Axis or Allies - because Stalin rules USSR!"
    Who woke in the middle of the night with that thought? Where is my gun? I 'll go volunteer! Kill some neighbours! on the fitting side! or "Give me father's rifle - I'll go liberate Russia!"
    ?
    Who bothered, remind me? The great loss, a cascade of countries, like a moss, rolling onto a ? roll, rolling across the world, joining the war, one side or another - we started it?
    We put the end to it.

    Your "morals".
    Low, cheap, not thankful.
    Contempt exclusively, that I have for you.








    Hitler and Stalin were good friends. They used the same methods, murder, genocide and theft. Then, as all psychopaths do, when they ran out of targets that could not defend themselves, they started having at each other.

    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 7:05pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    When Stalin "befriended" Hitler - he was not yet "Hitler". There was a war still ahead, that no one knew of, to be.
    And still, he never as much as shook his hand, or came up close a hundred metres. Even a hundred kilometres. Even a thousand.
    Kept aside. They were watching each other, in anticipation.

    He hasn't pumped him up, for the war, with finaces either.

    While high horse "moral" Western leaders - of all calibre - full spectrum - visited Hitler, signed deals, shook hands, attended receptions, gave presents for birthdays, oh a jubilee - all flags there with embraces, embassies lines up, PMs and Foreign Affairs Minsisters - limousines lined up. Such an occasion - Hitler's birthday!
    photo archive of XXX and Hitler - kiss into the diaphragm American movie ending - are tons!

    These were NOT FRIENDS. Financed and embraced, kissed hand - NOT FRIENDS.

    Russia, who lived 3 years under the slogan "Na Berlin"/"Onto Berlin" - written on every tank, every wall, who got at Hitler den in his bunker - "FRIENDS".
    Says who?
    Who are the judges?
    The NON-FRIENDS?

    These NON-FRIENDS who continued to join up Hitler rows even seeing already his invasion into USSR, the non-friends who negotiated with him at the end of the war? The judges?

    Come take us, if you can. While you can't - continue to spill hatred.
    May be someone will get hooked on it, and take on a belt. You certainly won't, you'll broadcast from safe back rows.
    Discuss Russia with your likes, as much as you want, to full satisfaction. In perfect agreement with each other, no doubt.
    I won't speak with you anymore.

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 7:07pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Webaliceinwonderland... hehehe I like when you call things by their name. Pepole talk about Ukraine as if it is 1 country with the land it has and the people and all that which I find not only hypocritical but propagandistic. Western Ukraine (Galicia and the rest...) is a part of old Poland. Catholics there have mostly Polish. They are bound to blindly resent Russians for any real or imaginary reason. Then you have all the eastern part, east of the river (Dneiper is the spelling?), which is simply Russia. I am not going to call it Ukraine just because Stalin gave it to Ukraine. Even the Kiev capital which is on the river was actually the first Russian capital - that is something Ukrainians can never get away with as I refuse to change my history books - it is my ancestors Greeks that wrote it back in the 9th and 10th centuries and they did speak of Russians, not Ukrainians.

    Ukraine is actually a land that is actually line between the Russian east and the Polish west. And to impress you with my general knowledge, as far as I know the word Ukraine means nothing more than borderlands!!! I.e. it was the borderlands between the Russians and the Polish and the Russians and the Golden Horde Khanate that had enslaved the place. And it is this mongoloturkic horde that changed the route of history - normally Russians would have their epicenter more south and more close to the Black Sea (without that meaning they would not expand). But as Kiev fell to Mongols, they moved north to Moscow and Novgorod where they kept on fighting both Mongols and mongoloturkic muslims and German catholics (the one more barbaric than the other). Ukrainians remained for centuries under the most horrible regimes of slavery and go ask them why in Turkey you meet so often Turks with blonde hair and blue eyes (will not become graphic). And it was them led by their own national hero that in the late 17th early 18th century century asked "brothers Russians" to aid them get rid of the barbarians that made them suffer so much. Russians considered Ukrainians not as a separate nation but as a cousin tribe that was part of the greater Russian nation, as borderline Russians or something and as such they liberated them and welcomed them to the civilised world.

    Saying today that Russians conquered them is of the most hideous propaganda. In the 19th century Ukrainians were still fresh from being liberated, but then, all these centuries living far from Russians had indeed cultivated a semi-(but not complete) Ukrainian cosciousness. Of course we do not talk about modern Ukrainia - we said: in the west Polish, in the east Russians, we speak only about the middle. Some groups of them demanded their language to be "respected", Russians repeated that Ukrainian is "village-Russian" so while acceptable in everyday life, should not be taught in schools or used in administration. Nothing exceptional for those days, one has to go to western European countries to see what was going on with really different language and not 2 languages so close that could be seen as dialects.

    As Russia in the 20th century incorporated parts of Poland (which shifted in the west), the Polish nationals often mixed their voices with enough Ukrainian pro-autonomists to present an as-if complete "Ukrainian front" against Russians but that does not mean that all Ukrainians are anti-Russian, let alone the east that is not even Ukrainian but Russia.

    Hence, I would suggest to people to know what they are talking about before saying it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 8:22pm on 29 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    I will have to fumble my way through this nonsense step by step:

    1.) About the Ottomans: it is in the interest of modern day "Greeks" who would have the world believe that they are the descendants of Pericles to demonise the Ottomans. Of course you have to do it if you want to create that sort of a fantastic myth. The very idea that the Ottomans might have contributed something positive to their culture simply will not click with the "continuity" myth. This is historical ethnic cleansing 101. First the Ottomans. But to really entrench that myth deep in the modern "Greek" psychology, they will not be able to stop there. Next up will be other nations that might have contributed to Greek culture - the Romans, the Albanians, the Jews, the Arabs, the Bulgarians, various Slavic populations from the Balkans. To people obsessed with lineage and ethnic purity, there is no "enough". This is also where you find the reason for the unmitigated chauvinism on display when they dismiss adjacent nations as "uncivilised" and "barbaric". Creating a national myth like "we are the same people that lived here 2500 years ago" is an amusing little fad. Until you use that fad as a weapon against other nations. That's when it turns into fascism.

    I am unwilling to cede to much ground to those shameless neo-Hellenic chauvinists, so here are a couple of examples of just how much the whole world owes to the Ottomans

    Ottoman astronomy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy_in_medieval_Islam#Ottoman_observational_astronomy

    Discovery of America before Christopher Columbus:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piri_Reis_map#History

    Medicine:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9Eerafeddin_Sabuncuo%C4%9Flu

    Physics:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqi_al-Din_Muhammad_ibn_Ma%27ruf

    If modern Greeks deprive themselves of this great piece of history, just for the futile and hateful endeavour of being "racially pure" of any Turkish influence, they do themselves a great disservice. However, I am optimistic. Most Greeks I have met so far were not fascists and they were very reasonable and sober about their past.

    About the Russian theft of adjacent lands and the pitiful excuses delivered for it: your justifications for the Russian aggression against Poland are 100% coherent with your dismissal of entire populations as "uncivilised". You arrogantly rank population as "probably less civilised" (the Germans, no evidence given) and as "probably more civilised" (the Russians, no evidence given). I, for one would venture the guess that most people would consider the Polish people more civilised than both Greeks and Russians. Their country is run better, there is far less corruption, a higher literacy rate, the towns are much cleaner and better looking than towns in Greece and Russia... I mean, just where do some people get the arrogance of dismissing countries as "less" civilised than others??? Unlike Russia, Poland has not aggressed against any of its neighbours in the last 300 years. The world has lost count of how many countries Russia violated against in that time.

    So much for the blatant national chauvinism that I wanted to take issue with. Next up:

    2.) NATO. The Kosovo Liberation Army (or UCK) was a simple crime gang that had nothing in mind but to maximise their profits, like all other crime gangs. Crime gangs are a hassle but it is beyond me why you have to strip away a region's autonomy to establish order. Belgrade's motives were clear: annexation and expansion. Greater Serbia, with the KLA/UCK as a straw man argument for it. The UCK's dealings started colluding with political aspirations in Kosovo when the Belgrade regime made moves towards taking away the autonomy of the region (and the autonomy of places like Croatia and Slovenia). The goal was a greater Serbia and the marginalisation of other ethnic groups as second-class citizens. What you wrote has nothing to do with the truth, but it might has sounded good coming from a Slobodan Milosevic spokesperson. Unfortunately for you, it's a little late to send out a job application now.

    3.) Georgia demanded that people applying for Georgian citizenship speak Georgian? What a horrible country! Other horrible countries that require knowledge of the national language as a prerequisite for naturalisation are: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, The United States. It is obvious to me that all these are oppressive regimes that must be bombed and de-populated by Russia immediately!

    4.) This obscene myth that Stalin looked out for the "interests" of people he "liberated" from Hitler. As long as you call mass-killing Ukrainians, Jews, Kulaks, Polish people, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Belarusians "liberation" I guess that's your prerogative. It is a very decisive and very long-lasting form of liberation I guess.

    5.) Stalin did not ask the Poles whether they wanted to leave their historic homelands and move into bombed-out German cities. They built those cities up again, against all odds, living under the brutal Soviet yoke. Those are Polish cities now, no matter what happens. But the forced expulsion of Polish people, the mass murder and the theft remains what it is and if Russia were a proper democracy today, the Polish would have a very serious case for asking for compensation.

    6.) 150 assassinated journalists since 1989 is "not a big deal" he says. Interesting. Of course I do not buy your statement that you are "a neutral observer" in this. I know the history of the region. The "Greeks" as well as the Serbians and the Russians suffer from that typical Orthodox church victimisation complex and of course they take sides for each other, even if their position is indefensible. Let's taste these words and roll them around in our mouths one more time just to make it absolutely clear to everyone what he just said "more than 150 murdered people are not a big deal". That is the regard for human rights and the democratic right to have a different opinion that some of those so-called descendants of the inventors of democracy obviously have. No conspiracy theory ("the Americans do the same thing, they just make it look like an accident") can mask the obscenity of this.

    Ladies and gentlemen, these are the opinions of the arrogated so-called "descendants" of the ancient Greeks, invetors of democracy, enkindlers of the humanist ideal: assassinating people just because they have a different opinion is "not such a big deal", the Serbs only exercised "self-defense" when they ethnically cleansed Kosovo, Russians have the right to steal land from and mass-rape and kill anyone who is on a supposed lower rung on the ladder of civilisation.

    It makes me want to go and take a shower. It's utterly deplorable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 9:35pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, :o) I will think of the way to direct you there, there is a map of Ukraine, in dotted line partitions within Ukraine, numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
    And below is states in what year which Russian ruler added that part to Ukraine, building up the cake. Lenin, Stalin, Khruschev.

    Lenin-Stalin hard for me to tell, what were oriented with, they were, how to say, swift decision people. Besides, it was taking away from the Federative Russian Republic, not of Georgia or Baltic States or anything dear :o)))) For Poland normal Georgians before clearly didn't worry much either. I doubt they honestly do now :o)))), would be un-consequitive :o)))

    Khruschev was simply Ukrainian, there it's all clear, from who, to who, and why so large territory.
    Then Brezhnev added up, but Brezhnev was also of Ukrainian roots, awful accent. And mumble :o)
    "U-kraina"/Ukraine - by the edge/limit.

    When we want to tease Ukrainians, we say "Na Ukraine" / On Ukraine (plains). In fact, we always say so o:)))), there isn't simply another preposition in the Russian language, to go with "Ukraine".

    However, during ? what's his name? already forgot! :o)))) Honest! there was a president recently. really. Ah, Joushenko :o))), when they took to implement the "national self-identification programme" (big formal thing, state-finaced), Ukraine formally petitioned Russian Minsitry of Foreign Affairs to change Russian language and use "v Ukraine" (in Ukraine) preposition with them. So that they don't sound in Russian like a region/geographic area "on the edge" :o)))) but pass for a real country :o))))).

    I think we replied something in the line they should be happy we use "in Ukraine" in English, but we won't be spoiling Russian because of them, what do they care, anyway.

    But it was a big issue between us, thousands of accusations and jokes on both sides, tensions for years, because of that preposition.

    For that matter, I still don't know how they call Russia in Ukrainian and with which preposition. I think it's "bloody muscovites" :o)))).

    But in the common blogs it was funny. You talk something over with a Ukrainian from Ukraine (in Russian, of course :o))))), even at a Ukrainian web site :o)))) - and the nationalistic-minded ones will always correct you and demand or ask, it depends on the personality, that you use "v" article in Russian, to go with them!

    As if their whole name isn't telling enough, and a preposition will improve it, somehow!

    Now you won't believe it - the vogue vanished as if never be. They speak of themselves "on" and don't even notice it.
    It was just a thing to hook at, not real important of itself.
    Something to quarrel about.

    Georgia though is still goes on, with their "preposition" :o)))), they sent letters to all Ministries of Foreign Affairs around, the CIS and ex-USSR, etc, I won't wonder if to Poland as well - Japan, as minimum - got it, 100%. They had fun over it together with us! :o)))))

    Saakashvili strongly recommended all to spell them in own languages by letters that all together sound as "Georgia", in English.
    While here they are for example, "Gruzia"/georgia and "gruziny"/Georgians.
    But they want to be "geordgians".
    Japan they asked to change the hierogliph for them, Jappan turned them down, and we likewise. Don't know what others did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 9:36pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Dire problems with self-identification :o)
    Without a proper preposition in Russian - you are plains. For all it is worth. :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 9:40pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    In Russian "Paris" is "Parizh".
    Never heard them having problems because of it.

    You are "Gretsia", for that matter, "ts" - one letter, "a" - a female ending of a country, like "Anglia", "Frantsia", "Germania", "Rossia".

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 9:47pm on 29 Mar 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    Chris Camp,

    I have read your previous posts about the 'great and tolerant ottoman empire' and how the Balkan people should be proud to have partaken in its 'glorious' past.
    Whether I, as a Bulgarian, agree or disagree with your statement I will not say. However, if you ever happen to go to Bulgaria ask the locals to show you the palaces, cities and churches of the Old Bulgarian kingdom, build before the ottoman invasion. After you have had a good look at the piles of rubble, ask the people to show you any of the great observatories, universities or theatres the ottomans build. When you have seen them, please come back to this site to tell me where they are. I want to have a look at them myself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 10:39pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Where is the real Ukraine, I can't show you without the map, Nik, but there is a notion we have soft feelings about, it's called "Malorossia" :o) surprise surprise, LittleRussia, in the sense not just "small" but "the little one", darling baby. It has always been around, alwys in a separate status (that you don't need to shove down a throat to have "recognised") because, how to say, it has always been.

    There is a "malorossijsky aktsent/Malorussian accent" recognised, and it is very pleasant to the ear, like as if you are met by an old grandma, something clearly native, even that you long forgot it, like childhood memoirs when come about your old toy in the house. That's because they kept words from old Kiev times I think, 10th century endings, or changed them less than Russians overall did, it "rings the bell". Like "aha" :o)

    That's not Ukrainian though. Ukr. sounds to me more rough and rude.
    Not Russian. It's language tint that somehow survived through centuries, twinkle twinkle little star thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 256. At 10:46pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Ho ho ho Chris will come to tell us who we are! What is your problem exactly Chris? Please tell us! Tell us first where do you really come from, what do you represent and why you attack so venomously Greeks? Are you jealous of them being the descendants of ancient Greeks? It is not our fault that this is the truth. And it is not because it is the truth that we have to behave today according to what racist westerners imagined of ancient Greece to be. Greece cannot conform to any idea of yours. We modern Greeks consider ourselfs to have direct grandfathers and great-grandfathers that were much greater than much of our ancestors whom we can trace back to prehistory (and is not only us saying, go read any study you wish..."amazing continuity" is their common ground, either it pains you or not...) - and we do not care if you do not relate to us today, we are just a nation that does not consider itself superior to others, "like some others thought of themselves", we are a nation that acts superior.

    So what did Greeks did to you? Did they attack you or what? What is the basis of this hatred of yours?

    Do a break from your nasty and downright racist propaganda. You are not entitled to speak on behalf of Greeks of what they are. Greeks know well who they are. You can say whatever, go tell what you say right here:

    You tell us:
    Greek culture took from Romans. We never denied it. But Romans were Greek culture themselves, are you so illiterate not to know it?

    The Albanians, the Jews, the Arabs, the Bulgarians, various Slavic populations from the Balkans? And Australians and Bouddhist monks and Indonesians and Incas and Mayas... to be honest Incas were much more close to Greeks than Albanians and Arabs and "the various Slavic populations from the Balkans".

    Where do all these collate with Greeks? What was their input to Greek culture a profound maritime culture? Ask Generalissimo to tell you how many Bulgarian mariners circulated the Aegean and how many Albanian mariners circulated the Ionian sea. How many Albanian thinkers influenced Greek thinking? How many Ottoman artists influenced Gree artists? Or did really Ottomans have any art at all? I have heard real Turkish music from Turkmenistan and Ouzbekistan and frankly I doubt modern Turks could ever relate to that. Cultures of Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbians and Albanians and Turks are vastly different despite the cohabitation under a regressive Ottoman Empire which spread some common cultural bits and parts usually restricted to some common music and food, i.e. which are the things that travel several 1000s. Now that I mentioned music, Balkan people share partially some of their music and dances with Greeks. So do Russians and Polish dance in circles like Bulgarians and Serbians and Albanians? Who dances ALL their dances in circles? Who Chris? Tell us?

    We do not deny any exchanges, we never spoke of hitleric racial pure nations, that is a thing of central and northern Europe and that is YOU are trying to project upon us, something we demand you stop right here. Even our royal families in the middle ages were not of "blue blood" like the rest of the Europeans who were/are inbred but of course of no racial relation to their own subjects!!! But not speaking of such and sitting to listen to your ridiculous and downright racist accusations of modern Greeks being this or that has a huge difference. You are offensive and you know it.

    I am ready to discuss with you on all points so if you accuse you have to base well your accusations. Bring out any proof you have. Right now. Do you have any Chris? Do you?

    To prove you how ignorant you are let me comment on your as-if points:

    1) You mention Tariq al-Din. Ok?
    From your own link:
    ""Taqi al-Din was born in 1521 in Damascus, Syria, and was educated in Cairo, Egypt""

    Born in Syria studied in Egypt. So I guess according to your logic you consider Mahatma Gandi was an Anglosaxon eh?
    Tariq was a Syrian. Nothing to do with Ottomans other than sharing a common religion and being their subject.

    2) Serafedin Sabunçuoglu

    "..... his contributions were based from the Greek, Roman, Arabic and Turkish paediatric surgeries"

    Greek no wonder! Roman - i.e. Greek again (since I know no Roman doctor anyway unless Galenos became Roman for being Roman citizen!!!). Arabic certainly (mostly Persian, cos Persians were the main muslim doctors - Medicine = the practice of the Medes!). But "Turkish" paediatric surgeries... do not make me laugh... poor Turks... cannot cope seeing too much "Greek" in there.

    So according to this article Mongol nomades came from their steppes on their horses carrying libraries of their medicine books... Ok, let it be. Turkish. Where is the proof? Where is the evidence. Sabunçuoglu knew how to copy from Greek. It is known that few to none Ottomans ever learnt Greek. Ottomans that spoke Greek were either ex-Greeks or ex-christians or ex-Jewish etc. This Ottoman doctor seemed to merely have copied Byzantine and Persoarabic books that fell in his posession. Good man. Good thing he did. That is how science progresses. Pitty that Ottomans did not know what was science, cos 400 years later and while nobody did any attack upon them, they knew 10 times less than this man.

    3) Piri Reis
    Now if any Turk spoke Greek like Sabuncuogly was already enough suspicious but then if any Turk sailed back then was more than obvious. Practically the 90 to 100% of Ottoman navy outside the Middle East were Greeks and other Minor Asian christians muslimified or not. Their greatest naval leader Hayrendin Barbarossa was Greek from father (muslimified) and mother. Barbarossa and all his brothers followed the family profession. Just google images of Barbarossa and you will find how "turkish" he was. I have seen that modern Turks even proudly talk about his Greek origins, good for them.

    Google now images of "Piri Reis". And even of his uncle "Kemal Reis". We are talking 1 generation before barbarosssa. Kemal Reis came from south Anatolia, he had to be Turkish or not? No, he seems too European-like to had been Turkish I am affraid. Yet another islamified.

    So what did Piri Reis do? Did he created the maps himself? Did he learn chartographie in the steppes or something? Did he develop any new technique? Well no, I am afraid he only took various copies of ancient Greek maps, then a recently found spanish/portuguese ones (possibly the ones Colombus had) and placed them together. Good man. A good chartographer and one of my favourites. So?

    Do you want me to continue? Do you want me to tell you how "Turkish" was Sinan the greatest Ottoman architect? Do I need to make the list?

    So? Do you think I do not consider all the above Ottomans for having been Greeks, Arabs and Anatolian ex-christians? No I do consider them as Ottomans, Ottomans were an Empire bound merely by religion and led by a turkish speaking non-turkish muslim elite and were not any nation or a specific people, they never claimed to by any such anyway.

    But all the above do not constitute of course of any Ottoman science. What I see is copies, copies copies. Europeans largely copied in Renaissane but then they moved on to produce much more than that. Ottomans while having conquered the most progressive part of the world up to then (despite being completely destroyed by Crusaders) they managed only to copy for less than 200 years before returning to complete illiteracy and darkness.

    It is astounding that poor Serafendim tried to learn medicine through Greek and Persian books back in the 14th century and 20th cetury Ottomans knew less than him on medicine and tried to pass the 2,5% limit that was their illiteracy... and that after 400 years having been the "dominant power in the region". What else do I need to say to convince you on the opposite?

    When Serbians produced Tesla (the man behind the 20th century) and Greeks Karatheodoris (the man behind theory of relativity) what did Ottomans produce? Tell me. Petty excuses with ex-christians that copied for 200 years before merging with the illiterate mass of turkish speaking muslims are no excuse for civilisation. If taken aside their criminal existence, Ottomans could be seen as a funny culture. But they were anything than "enlightened" and "scientific".

    If you really admire them, your problem. But you really have to explain to us how did they manage to lose all that terrific knowledge they acquired and produced! It is a mystery to me. Did bad christians steal their books or something?

    Anyway... from your last paragraph bunching together Russians, Serbs and Greeks as orthodox and speaking badly off them I guess what you are...

    ... you must be Polish... now it can all be explained, isn't it?

    I am sorry but Greeks have nothing to do with your catholic complexes. You must not hate Greeks cos they are orthodox and taught Russians how to be orthodox. If you are into this catholic-orthodox thingie which fanatic Polish are well into quite often (and last pope helped a lot) we are not. I am not orthodox and I do not see myself as in the same group with Russians or Serbians or whoever else. These religious battles are for the middle ages. Welcome to the 21st century. Open your mind and stop being racist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 10:53pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Turks yes, pushed us. For centuries, the main traveller trouble that could happen to a slav in the South, venturing beyond own village, to, say, another one, in a not very well armed set of travellers, was not diarrhea :o))) - but wooosh, grab, bundle/leg chained - to the slave market in Turkey. Same with ships. Woosh, hook, grab, you got it.
    Awful great civilisation. Will check one's teeth, muscles, good for sale or not then why to feed. Stole thousands any week day in in-raids, of slavs.

    Operated whole super-markets of slave markets, by department, age, languages spoked, can be used in-house, in-yard, re-sold further to Persia (frequent outcome, they were hunting slavs for all around) (that one stays in Turkey wasn't so bad - as not far to run home. say, 7-12-20 years after, come a lucky escape opp.) Those "galeras" - galleys? Frequent outcome if foreigh purchasing managers didn't buy at the market.
    Tons written on it in Russian. And sang in Malorussian.

    Complain about this comment

  • 258. At 11:13pm on 29 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Isenhorn, you try to ask a logical thing from Chris but this is in vain. His high dislike and resentment (to avoid using the real words that really describe the situation) make him dislike and resent just any other orthodox nation and love and adore the Ottomans because they were enemies of Russians. He is of those people that would not mind seeing muslims again genociding christians this time in Europe (in Minor Asia they genocided already 4 million people and throwed out other 3 in the most violent matter), for him is alright.

    Chris, I have no problem with you, we are here to present a point or two and exchange a view as much as better we can. If we agreed on everything we would not need to add anything at the end.

    I much rather prefer to stick to modern affairds. But I will not sit down being attacked so viciously, especially when I am attacked racially. Any other would had flagged your comments I don't cos I firmly believe in the free exchange of opinions. Perhaps you might not realise your comments are deeply racist and against all Balkan people. Go back read them. And go back read mine. I have never made any racial or cultural attacks. Saying that Turks did a genocide is the sad reality. Saying that Ottomans were tolerant when all we read in history is of their slaughters and looting exploits is ironic, especially when it is them boasting of that, it is not us! Speaking of Ottoman science when it is all about briefly copied Byzantine and Arabopersian books for 150 years by majorly ex-christians simply is not any use especially when Ottomans went on to immerge themselves into darkness while suffering no drawback, ending up in the 20th century with 2,5% litearacy levels. That is the truth, it is not me attacking anyone. You attack me with lies, I respond with the truth.

    Either short out your points and present them in a logical manner without accusations or simply stick to current affairs - which I would much rather.

    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 11:19pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:



    All that Russians wanted to say to Turks, is described here.
    Without words.

    The painting is a local favourite in Ukraine, in Turkey :o)))) - so they got it :o)))), without words.
    Or may be no one else ever did a humourous painting about them, but a Russian.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Repin_Cossacks.jpg

    It is called "Cossacks are composing the answer to the Turkish sultan".

    15th century scene, about that time. Having great fun, definitely, in the process :o)))), like go

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 11:36pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think it was 1584? 1654? that "Ukraine" joined Russia, that is, cossacks petitioned the tsar, and joined up.

    Clearly earlier than Catherine the 2nd, she only issued them formal? Diploma-s? Kind of big papers in frames, formal deal btw Russia and Cossacks from capital letters, recognising them as FREE PEOPLE.

    There are old cossacks communes abroad, the ones who ran away in revolution, and took out their clan's memorabilia, those authentic Catherine the 2nd eh? don't know how to call. Look like big MBA diploma-s, :o))))) framed :o)))) hang on the walls. One big commune lives compact in the USA, saw a TV film on them - all walls in frames, cherished.

    The deals stroke were they recognise Russian tsar as the top authority, govern themselves the way they please and live the way they please anywhere they please :o)))), are given state subsidies and consider Russian borders their own borders and protect them when war comes from the South.
    Approx. this.
    Mutually satisfying arrangement. Cossacks even in the N-th generation deeply profoundly respect Catherine II as she recognised them formally that they are a nation, and in a formalised how to say, clear relations with Russia. Place in the world arrangement established.

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 11:44pm on 29 Mar 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Yo Alice
    Are you there?

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 11:55pm on 29 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    When Russians quit country post revolution, I don't know? 30% left the country? huge loss of people - Turkish shore wasn't the most fav. destination, to stay in or remember fondly later about.
    Even Shanghay - Russians managed to survive in China, large community, survived in Romania, to say nothing of Paris and the USA, the likes. Well, Paris was bad as well :o)))))

    Awful poverty in Turkey, awful illiteracy, total bugs swarming in dirt everywhere, and Turks were not mean to Russian emigres, but the life there was simply by itself very poor, how to say, and awful. In effect they became a stop-over point only, en route to somewhere better.

    Tiny Serbia, meanwhile, accepted more Russians than France - and with open embrace, to poor run-aways. We are eternally grateful, on behalf of all ours, who had to run.

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 00:03am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    And just to bring things to more modern affairs and how how unilateral is your point of view let us see how you compared the two situations in Kosovo and Georgia:

    1) Kosovo: Kosovars rose in the 20th century from a 20-30% minority to a 50% minority in the 1960s and were given the status of autonomy by Tito, who included in Kosovo pretty much one of the most historic parts of Serbia, place of medieval monasteries, place of the Serbians' last stand against Ottomans, a kind of giving Berlin autonomy to its Turkish-origins citizens. Tito never asked Serbians about it. He was a Croatian dictator. That autonomy was never part of any democratic procedure but an authoritarian decision of a man known not to like a lot Serbians and one that had already chopped up all the lands from Serbia. And what did Kosovars do with that autonomy? They went on a struggle to ethnically cleanse their lands of the "infidels". Their way? Simple. Local mafias. "Local criminality" they were saying. Only that local criminality looted only Serbian houses, raped only Serbian schoolgirls, killed only priests and not imams and of course the rest of the bullets were for the Serbian police. One need to go back to crime statistics (the real ones, not the ones declared by Tito) in the 1970s and 1980s. I wonder if Serbian priests and schoolgirls were part of any gangs selling drugs or something.

    So when populist Slobodan rose to power, he promised that he would let "no Serbian to suffer inside his own country". Note that when Slobo rose, it was already clear that Croatians and Slovenians were pushing (by late 1980s) for independence.

    Serbians had no major problem with such a dissolution of the federal state other than... the 1/3rd of Croatia, the 1/2nd of Bosnia and a north line of FYROM having their own lands including millions of Serbians who had no business finding themselves as 2nd rate citizens in Serbian hating catholic and muslim states... in fact as 2nd rate citizens in the states of those that provoked the Serbian genocide of the 2nd world war. Unimaginable for them.

    And as a proof of that: 1) Serbians sent the Jugoslav army in Slovenia, yet they let them go in peace. 2) Serbians let FYROMians go in peace (they had only a thin line in the north). Serbians never oppressed any Hungarians of Voivodina. So why on earth Serbian haters like Croatians, muslims and Kosovars - "accidentally" the 3 Nazi nations of Jugoslavia made war against Serbia, it pretty much obvious. In Croatia there were 1 million Serbians. Now there is none cos fascist Tujman made ethnic cleansing. In Bosnia, a muslim miniroty wished to go out of Yugoslvia taking hostage a 40% Serbian ... so-called "minority" (unimaginable!!!). Yet Americans managed to join the 40% of muslims and the 20% of Croatians to present them as-if Bosnians against the bad Serbians. Kosovars did what they did with the US-provisioned stingers Margeret Albright was sending to her gansgster protegé Thatchii placing aside Rugova, the political leader of Albanians and perhaps the only serious figure among them, a moderate logical man that sought peace and Americans placed him aside for they knew Rugova resisted the thugs and could bring real peace.

    Of course according to your logic Chris, in all that breaking Serbians were not entitled to ask for their lands, they had to see them being chopped up by the aritifically made states and artificially inflated Croatia. Currently you support Kosovo independence but you refuse (I guess it here) Bosnian Serbians to become independent parting with half of Bosnia, where they live. You would refuse of course the Serbians of Croatia and you feel very happy of them being ethnically cleansed.

    And what do you make of Georgians? While Serbians never refused to Albanians anything else other than their autonomy which Albanians failed to justify anyway (since they were a failed autonomy), Georgians what did they do? They became independent after many decades of belonging in USSR which by the way their own man made (Stalin). And decided to just kick out any other population that did not confront with their national aspirations.

    And right here Chris you say "Of course Georgians were right"!!!! Which is amasing!!! On the one hand you accuse Serbians of taking out the administrative autonomy of Kosovar for having failed to work (which is an administrative issue) and you fully support Georgians in their fascist declaration of "whoever is not Georgian out!".

    What kind of view do you really have Chris?

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 00:12am on 30 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    I shall answer your - quite frankly: - pitiful attempts at arrogating Ottoman achievements for your yound nations one more time this evening, then I'll take some rest. It is a shame you made it so easy for me, it would have been nice to be given something more challenging. But this one will do for the time being.

    1.) You will not find any jealousy of "Greeks" in my post. I cannot muster any motivation to feel any envy for some southern-Balkan population that keeps running its own economy into the ground and then has to come begging to the non-decadent nations in Europe. The arrogation of the ancient Greeks does not make Greece something to be jealous of. It make it a security threat, as it has already started using the myth it has galvanised from the arrogation against European nations.

    2.) Tariq Al-Din was an Arab, and??? Does that make him any less Ottoman? The Ottoman empire was a multi-ethnic nation, and proudly so. The fact that some citizens in its remnants, such as "Greece", would like to be mono-ethnic does not invalidate the point. Multi-ethnic nations have every bit as much as, if not more legitimacy than mono-etnbic nations.

    3.) Serafedin Sabunçuoglu based some of his science on Greek ideas. Real Greek ideas, not the arrogated "Greeks" that did not even exist back then. Unlike the "Greeks" today, magnificent Ottomans like Sabuncuoglu did not want to keep his science mono-ethnic. He was interested science, not etnnicity. A superb Ottoman scientist. You keep making comments about "Mongolian" people coming in from the steppe - and you have the nerve to call other people racist?

    4.) Your comment about admiral Piri Reis is just another piece of hyper-jingoistic neo-hellenic nonsense. The Greeks did not have the kinds of vessels that would have allowed them to safely cross the ocean. By the time you accuse the Turks of still being horsemen from the steppe (again - you have the nerve to call anyone racist?), the Ottomans were already a proud seafaring people, fighting sea battles in places as far away as Indonesia.

    "what I see is copies, copies, copies" - what arrogance. What conceit. What utter lack of shame. Why don't you show a little bit of respect for those great men? By the time those great men made the discoveries they made, the squalid little nation that you call "Greece" today did not even exist yet. The only argument you have got is that they based some of their research on knowledge that had pre-existed from times before. Well, newsflash, Nik, that is what all researchers do. You do not start every bit of research by re-inventing the wheel for the billionth time. As Isaac Newton put it - If people call me a great man today, it is only because I am a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants. Everyone starts from pre-existing knowledge anything else would be insane. Which is why, if there were any such thing as a time machine, Plato would be Kant's student if they were to meet and not the other way around, because Kant was familiar with Plato's ideas, but Plato could not have been familiar with Kant's ideas.

    Everything you say about the Ottomans, their alleged recession "back into darkness and illiteracy after they copied everything from Persians and Greeks" is pure conjecture and invented by you, not provided by historical fact. For the third time - you of all people have the nerve to accuse anyone of racism?

    The only reason the Ottoman empire became sick and fell apart was because the empire was infected with the virus of nationalism in the 19th century, brought in from Europe. Every little group in the Ottoman empire, with their quaint little religions, their quaint little idioms and dialects, their quaint little customs, wanted out all of a sudden, including the Turks. And so the end of that great multi-ethnic nation was sealed.

    The theory of relativity was developed by Einstein, a German-born Jewish man who later emigrated to the U.S. He did not have anything to do with "Greece". I told you before, I am not Polish. But for someone who is very quick at accusing other people of racism, I am quite astonished at your capacity to belittle great civilisations that actually accomplished something during the time of their existence, like the Polish or the Ottomans. What did your nation achieve since the British carved you out of the rotting corpse of the Ottoman empire?

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 01:17am on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Ahoy there, that is :o), Yo. :o) MaudDib

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 01:27am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    1) No I did not find a piece of jealousy, I found a whole catarract of dislike and contempt. Since Greeks have never harmed Poles, I guess that has to be some short of jealousy to avoid sounding more aggressive - my case is not here fighting with you but revealing the weaknesses of your points. I will not expand more on that, it is your issue.

    2) Mahatma Gandi was Indian??? And? That does not make him any less Anglosaxon?

    3) Where did Serafedim came? Out of any Ottoman university? The mandrasas? It is him that did any breakthrough? Or copying? Maybe he did some ameliorations. Fare enough for him. But he is no excuse for science. Wise men existed in all cultures including Ottomans. But one sees the sum, not the exception. If he was really a Turk then I would like to see what he brought from his own background. Arguably Mongoloturcs knew a bit of medicine for taking out spears and arrows from their soldiers' bodies. Fair enough. From there on, their knowledge was not much more than the knowledge of the "grandmother". I cannot but regard his case as an one-off. As I said 600 years after his time his descendants knew less while having suffered no catastrophe and resulting in 2,5% literacy level, how you explain that? Why you avoid the main point?

    4) See? Who talked to you about Greeks here? But since you had to mention them, Greeks never owned western Spain and Morocco to go often out in the the Atlantic ocean, yet they had managed to make a round of the Artic reaching certainly Norway and possible either Iceland or Greenland. Explorer Pytheas clearly described an Aurora Borealis and you know very well where that is. However, on the other side as soon as Alexander reached Asia he has already sailed all the Asian coast to India!!! Compare that to Ottomans please:

    Ottomans ruled up to Iran controlling the Persian gulf for 100s of years... yet could not trade with muslim India and Indonesia which were controlled by the tiny Portuguese and Dutch that half circumnavigated the whole globe to arrive there. Please, do not even try to commend on that... let it be.

    If you were any adept in technical matters you would know that any self-respecting sailor knows that ancient Greek ships were a class above all renaissane ships and especially the ones used to first arrive to America. Byzantine dromons were the best thing prior to 18-19th century last sailing ships and could only be levelled by Chinese superb ships. Arabs too had made some excellent ships to sail the difficult Indian ocean. But Turks, made nothing special other than large cargo ships to transfer their troops manned with half-motivated bunch of leventes (all of them christians and converts) led occasionally by inspirational leaders such as Kemal Reis and Hayredin Barbarossa both islamified christians (Cilician the first, Greek the latter) - and do not even think I consider them as nothing else than Ottomans. But they were "borrowed hands" as soon as these went, Ottomans produced nothing else than a long list of incapable people. Why? Tell me what was wrong? Explain to me.

    Ottomans were a culture not a civilisation. It is not a term to belittle them but a civilisation has a profound effect. Ottomans gave way to their descendants, Turks who without having suffered any severe drawback (no Ottoman Turkish libraries burnt and no Ottoman scientists killed or something!), they managed to be the most illiterate and most regressive of all their ex-slaves. That says it all Chris. Why do you keep on this futile effort to pass

    Einstein himself has admitted he only concluded the relativity theory. In his last interview he named professor Karatheodoris as the great man behind the theory being the one that developed the proof behind it. And to be fair in parallel there were others working already in that including if I remember well Pointcaré and a German unknown scientist who published the same essay 3 days later than Einstein - the fact that Karatheodoris (who was in Germany) might had been his teacher too is a thing to verify. Recently Israel, in honour of the two great scientists Israel gave as a present all the letters between Einstein and Karatheodoris that clearly show all the historic of the development of the theory.

    So when Karatheodoris was leaving that legacy to mankind, what did Ottomans/Turks leave other than the memory of destruction, massacre and genocide. If that is what they have left on all their ex-subject apart Albanians (muslims) and Bosnians (muslims) there has to be a problem with the way you think. You are a Pole... what do you know about the Ottomans other than the fact that your nobility dressed like them and shared the dislike of Russians? Is that a reason to admire such a backward and violent Empire?

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 03:21am on 30 Mar 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Yo Alice
    I thought I might chime in. It's easy to quote numbers and all. But the thing is there are all kind of numbers. Personally I'm glad you stand up for Russia. I stand up for mine and I love to see others do the same. My goodness all countries have made mistakes. I know that and so do you. I don't hold out much for Nik but that's okay, he sees it like he sees it. You be careful out there ok.

    Complain about this comment

  • 268. At 07:43am on 30 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    I have to say (foolishly, here, maybe--where Angels fear to tread, I go lol)

    Tnat the Turkish people are from a great empire that is called the Ottoman Empire and that that empire did great things.

    We had or have Suleman's era art in our Smithsonian Institution museums and they were/are very beautiful.

    All empires which are or have been big have done things not great And great things. The USA has done "not great things" in its days. They (Americans) are probably considered a empire.

    One learns things as one grows. At one time, a Greek person said the USA will decline like Greece did and probably be like Greece in that the culture will continue for years and years to influence people.

    I read "The Historian" which is a good book (for me) Its a best seller type book that references the Ottoman empire many times.

    Everyone has learned that the Ottomans and their descendent empire that came after (N. Africa) gave the world much in the way of culture and learning....sorry Nik, some things go too far.

    But, its your debate.



    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 07:44am on 30 Mar 2010, David wrote:

    Sorry about the terrorist acts in Moscow, Russia, WebAlice. :(

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 10:00am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Sad news in Moscow, indeed David... WA and Russians should not be terrorised by that and move on. It seems that this practice has become part of our life. In Greece too, an unknown terrorist group (and I do not need to tell you historically who has organised terrorist groups in Greece) left a bomb, than that called to warn (there they warn) gave a wrong adress (mispelled the address), the bomb had a faulty mechanism, finally 1 day latter an immigrant Afgan teenager,15, approached the sack with his sister, 10, opened it and the mechanism went off killing him and blinding his sister. Sad news - these people let wartorn Afganistan to die in peaceful Greece from a blind bomb, it is a bitter irony of life.

    We must accept that as a part of life. There is nothing you can do. Terrorism is a political act, it has little to do with "peoples' struggles". These are well organised politican networks that support terrorism on local and international scale and their reasoning is not even what they are supposed to represent.

    E.g. in the case of the two Chechen women that blew themselves, they needed quite some support and even training to go up to Moscow and blow themselves up. Someone must give the explosives, these come from somewhere, it is not the Chechens that produced them in house-labs or something...

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 11:50am on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    David, its your debate too. I am debating too and I expect to see points. For example you mention Ottomans gave so much... what? Who learnt from Ottomans? And what did they offer to North Africa, as you mention that North Africa did not have before. On the contrary North Africa had much more before than with them. When Napoleon landed in Egypt it found it in a worse condition than what it had been 800 years before and described the society as a fossil. What we see with Ottomans is blatant. 9 out of 10 of their "wise, great men" had been recent recruits 1st or 2nd generation maximum while the 3rd generation would immerge itself in the lake of forgetfullness, illiteracy, backwardness. As soon as the second great wave of islamisation stopped by end of 16th century (first occured in the 12th-13th century in eastern Minor Asia), they suddenly ceased to produce any output.

    We make a discussion. So I stress out this point: how do you explain this shutting off? What happened? Who pressured them ot shut off their lights? Were they invaded? Were their cities destroyed? Was their population massacred?

    No, nothing like that. Simply the Ottoman culture could not move on, it was a structure that reproduced backwardness. A feudal state ruled by local chiefs happy to be in possession of what they had, ruling with the use of local militias, trying to exploit their situation as more as they possibly could not interested to produce anything beyond what their subjects could do and ocntinuing this situation until it was not possible anymore, in which case they would resign.

    Ottomans never became a civilisation. A civilisation has a direct long lasting impact on its surrounding area. The only impact that Ottomans had is that they managed to take the most progressed part of the world and transform it to one of the most regressive ones.

    The above are basic facts. And is upon them I built my critiscism. We can speak later of the endemic violence, massacres and the culmination of the genocide (for which Ottomanoturks are not the sole responsibles but Eurpoeans played an active role). For the time being discussion is on the above: is Ottomans a civilisation or not? And if yes what do they gave to neighbouring Italians, Russians and Iranians for example - had they been a civilisaiton they should had influenced them isn't it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 12:58pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Well, Italians built in Moscow. I think? in the 15th century. and half of St. Petersburg it seems :o))) or French. Italian baroque and French baroque.
    St. Petersburg gardens are either French laid or English laid, this or that (uncompatible) large garden break-out/design approach, depending who was the chief gardener imported.

    Iranians? Definitely gave us 1 big diamond, in Kremlin treasury, "Shah".
    Looks like a big transparent pencil, in scribbles :o)))) eh, various previous owners' stamps and inscriptions type "my own", for a thousand years back.

    Not from particular Iranian generosity fit, but offered as a compensation "and let's not quarrel about it, alright?", for the death of our ambassador to Persia, Alexander Griboedov.

    He developed there unhealthy activity :o))), Russian embassy was a fortress for all run-away slav slaves and Orthodox slaves, from their Persian owners. Once you reach the Russian embassy door - that's it, bingo. Then he exported them out, with soldiers and diplomatic post :o)

    Persians must give them credit looked at it philosophically, like, if we catch one by the embassy doors, will quarter to pieces as a lesson, but if you make it there over the high fence somehow - your luck.

    And thus it continued more or less alright, until the Armenian part of the Shah harem ran away to the Russian enmbassy :o))))) There were all types of slavs and non-slavs around (all that Turkey caught and re-sold).

    Griboedov knew that's eh, how to say, the worst kind of runaways to accept, but he was a kind man, a famous writer, type of our Lev Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, actually far more readable :o))))) - I like him far more.
    (you don't know, haven't seen translated) A humanitarian, so to say. And he accepted the Shah harem :o(

    Not for long, took hours, without any "Shah" interferance. The city got the news, got together, and dismantled the embassy to the ground, stoned the girls the staff the ambassador and all live there was they tore out into small particles of flesh.

    Then cooled down. Packed the left-overs into a coffin, and sent to St. petersburg a whole delegation, cart trundle trundle, the coffin, accompanying delegation and the "Shah" diamond.

    Russian intelligencia :o) and humanitarians still can't look at that diamond in the treasury's display - ugh!
    Because tsar accepted apologies.

    there was another story with that, when our Lermontov (poet) (partly from Scotland) was sent to the Caucasus war, tsar hoping to get rid of him :o)))) (he did a lot of critical writing, but there weren't any Gulags yet, and Solzhenitsyn's likes were not fired from the USSR - the most common method was to pack someone to the war in the Caucasus.

    Never lack of war in the Caucasus, and thus elegantly many got killed without authorities having absolutely nothing to do with it :o)

    So Lermontov was approaching on horse-back his regiment of appointment, and saw that interesting procession, and wondered what is it , on Earth? and was told it's Griboedov :o(

    And he took it as a very, very, very, how to say, un-lovely sign and got full of various premonitions, re his future army service :o(

    Well, he was not being killed annoyingly for a long time, so one nice day simply an unknown officer said him a couple of nasty words, Lermontov called him to a duel, and there he was shot dead on the spot, how to say, quickly and efficiently, as Caucasus proved un-satisfactory.

    Alexander Griboedov, tha ambassador with the Persian harem troubles, wrote a play which I can quote for pages, a play-write he was, and it's poetry, and it's called "Trouble/Grief - from Brains!/being too clever".
    "Gore ot Uma". Classic here :o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 1:12pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik,
    Who are the judges!? - quote from Griboedov.

    And judges - who?! (on earth are they :o))))

    If it's easier for you to remember, his surname translates as "Mushroomeater" :o).
    It is also the subway station from where all walk to the Hermitage, the nearest, on Nevsky prospekt.

    oj. subway.
    I was afraid to take it today, and all around seemed scared. and far less people, than usually.

    Complain about this comment

  • 274. At 1:26pm on 30 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Turkey, what has say influenced. ?

    For one thing, "safjan" booties fashion, with the Russian tsars. Special "safjan" thin leather emroidered bought from Turkey that is the Osmans, to make soft boots.
    Well, that rather were mongol-tatars, 13th century. ?

    "Turkish carpet" idea, on the wall, to clip on various pistols and sabres. Well those weren't Turkish carpets, our Caucasus-made. But then who influenced them , to weave carpets, Persia of course. But may be they themselves, after all all sheep around for thousand years, what else to do.
    A "Turkish carpet" is great for that, the thing is you don't have to drill holes in the wall. but can simply buy sewing small hooks :o) metal, for various eh, ancient clothes' clips :o))) - and sew them on your carpet and then hook on your pistols. A simple stationary rubber, turned twice round the handle of a knife or a pistol - and your eh? piece of antiquity is hung on the carpet. I've got a sword on that yellow rubber :o))))), and a Japanese harakiri curved knife :o)))) (false).

    ?
    ?

    "Weeping fountain" - is definitely genuine Turkish idea. Like half-plates, dishes, cut into the wall, like large sea shells, and then water streams into the upper dish, then splits into two into the two lower dishes, then cascades further down into more ? plates? sea-shells, and all eh? bubble, with a very sad sound :o))))))
    For melancholic enjoyment.

    Finally, we were inspired to build a lot of ships to kick the Turks out of Crimea. Ship-building inspiration.

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 1:33pm on 30 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    1.) your first point was, with all due respect, just the usual conjecture. You can speculate about my nationality all you like. The reason I have gone to all that length to demolish your falsifications (and continue to do so) is not because I have any particular passport or any particular problem with any other nation. I dislike all manner of dishonesty, all manner of fascism and all manner of racism. That is why I take issue with your posts. Nothing more, nothing less.

    2.) you built up the straw man of Gandhi being Anglo-Saxon. I said not such thing. The British empire was not Anglo-Saxon. It was a glorious, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic empire, where science, philosophy and art blossomed like nowhere else on the planet before or after. The Ottoman empire was similar. Ethnicity did not matter in the Ottoman empire. The Ottomans themselves were originally a Seljuk family and the Seljuks had been in Asia minor for over a century when they finally took over all of what was left of the Byzantine empire. In many ways, they had merged their culture into Byzantine culture and vice versa. That is why it is so silly to juxtapose Ottoman culture to Greek culture as if they were fundamentally different. That is why it is so silly (and racist) to speak of Turkish people as horsemen riding in from the steppes. They had been in Anatolia for over a hundred years before they finally decided to take over. It was not a conquest as much as it was a revolution. The people remained the same. And that is, last but not least, why I find it so silly that there are two separate countries, "Turkey" and "Greece". If Greece were absorbed back into Turkey (which is stronger in almost every aspect, be it militarily, economically, culturally) then both sides would profit from it. The Turks would help the Greeks limit the corruption in their society, the Greeks would make it more likely for the Turks to join the European Union, a potential conflict in the region would be permanently ruled out... the list is endless. But unfortunately, some people think it is more important to contrive a cultural lineage to an ancient and lost civilisation that simply isn't there and have their own little artificial nation that will never be self-sustained. It is a shame really. A political union of that region would be best for everyone.

    3.) about the "spears and arrows" racism - read up on the history of the Seljuks. They had long since stopped being plundering and pillaging horsemen and had started establishing a civilisation all their own - one glorious offspring of which was the Ottoman empire.

    4.) The Greek boats (triremes) were not fit to cross the Atlantic Ocean. They were not fitted with compasses or quadrants or sextants. Again, what we are treated to here in your posts is typical jingoistic delusion ("any self-respecting sailor" - exactly how much do you know about nautical science to come to that kind of a conclusion). I respect the ancient Greek scientists for what they did and what they are today. I will not say that they invented everything. Aviation, computers and assembly lines, for instance, were invented by Americans. The automobile, the helicopter (for the most part) and mp3s were invented by Germans. The steam engine, TV and radio was invented by the British. The solar-centric nature of the solar system was discovered by a Pole. Unlike you, I do not attribute every last thing that was invented by mankind to the country I was born in. What makes it was is that you go to the length of creating a trifecta of self-delusion. First you tell yourself that the country you were born in is effectively the same civilisation that was lost over 1000 years ago and then magically re-appeared when the British carved a few provinces out of the dying Ottoman empire. Second, you bend over backwards to attribute every philosophical achievement, inside and outside the Ottoman empire to Greeks, even when no Greek person at all was involved in their development. And thirdly, which is the most absurd aspect of your twisted logic, anyone who is hesitant to believe that today's "Greeks" and the ancient Greeks were/are the same people is "racist" in your view. Do you even know what racism is?

    Your distortion of Einstein's legacy runs along the same lines, by the way. Carathedory, a brilliant mathematician and a linguistic genius no doubt, only INPSIRED Einstein to develop the theory of relativity. Einstein did all the work himself. If I go abroad to central America or to east Asia and I see a beautiful piece of architecture that inspires me to design something similar at home, then it is still me who does all the work - I worry about how it is going to work, the location, the environs, the statics, the engineering, the plumbing, the sustainability, the purpose... If Carathedory mentioned something in passing that Einstein took up and actually worked on, then this is Einstein's theory. Carathedory, at most, gave Einstein an interesting idea. You see what I did here, AGAIN?

    The far right in Greece appears to be so much in the habit of arrogating history (distant and near), science and technology that they are losing the ability to differentiate between subtle but important differences like inspiration - creation, discovery-invention.

    About the Serbian-Greek victim mythology - I still do not understand what right the Belgrade regime had to strip Kosovo of its autonomy. There was crime in Kosovo so they had the right to do that? There is crime in Greece too, so let's just just strip Greece of its sovereignty then, shall we? You cannot use mythology to proclaim a strip of land for a people that just does not live there anymore. The majority of Kosovars were Albanians. Just because some Serbs made a "last stand" there some some 600 and something years ago. The same goes for your Berlin analogy. If the people of Berlin want more autonomy within Germany or in their majority wish to secede from Germany altogether, then that is their right, in my view. Only, at this point, they do not wish to do so. Places, in my view, belong to the people who live there. They should be given the choice of how much autonomy they have got and which political system they use in their community. You cannot deny the Kosovars the autonomy of their homeland, just because the Serbs attribute mythological importance to that place.

    It is futile to smear Bosnians (who died in scores in brutal Serb massacres by the way) Croats or Albanians as pro-Nazi. Doing so clearly aims at delegitimising them as people who have equal rights, which is unacceptable. It is deeply immoral to take rights away from a generation of children, because some of their grandfathers or great-grandfathers did bad things. That this simple moral principle is not understood in large portions of the subscribed Orthodox victim nations of the southern Balkans and east of Kiev, only illustrates the moral decay and depravation that is happening in those regions. So the Serbs had the "right" to massacre Srebrenica, because allegedly all Bosnians had been "pro-Nazi" three generations ago? I am curious about which depths you are going to plumb in your next post.

    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 3:53pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris the more you talk the more laughable becomes your effort to present a point. I am sorry but I can't make anything out of what you say:

    1) What do you mumble about fascism? Did you look yourself on the mirror? You hate everything orthodox out of your hatred of Russians. The ball takes Serbians too (who did nothing to you) and Greeks (who did nothing to you). Below you wish to see Greeks conquered again by Russians, that is the amount of hatred you have. Quite unbelievable.

    1) You call everyone "Ottoman science". Very easy. But then following this logic I should call Mahatma "a proud British politician" or chicken korma "an ancient anglosaxon tradition". Does that lead us anywhere? What I say is that everyone who lived in this Ottoman Empire was not necessarily Turk or Ottoman even if he was a muslim. Arabs remained Arabs, and Persians Persians and recent muslim forced or willing recruits were recent recruits. All I say is that Ottoman scientists seemed to come out of all that wave of islamisation and/or including the pre-existing ismlamic cultures' scientists who remained largely to copying with little to no output of their own and who were not only not followed by their descendants but their works remained marginal. Few Ottoman books found their ways into anyone else's libraries and none of them ever made any huge impact. So, 600 years later where were Ottomans? Tell me.

    2) Of course your swearing of the Greeks continues here. Here you propose Turks absorbing Greeks to solve the corruption in Greece. Should I laugh? Should I flag you for racist comments or not now?
    No, it is not my style. I laugh at such childish comments, now I am perplexed about your actual age. Anyway I prefer to leave this monumental comment of yours there as a testament to your way of thinking! And I will abstain from proposing to you to be absorbed by Russia to end EU's problems in the region. I will only propose to you to take it back cos it insults the memory of 1,5 million genocided Greeks, 1,5 (and in the context, 1,5 million genocided Armenians, 1 million genocided Assyrians) as well as all people that suffered from the inhuman treatment of Ottomano-turks. If you insist on your offensive mumbo-jumbo I guess next thing you do is to demand the sending of Neonazis to govern Israelis and Mose Dayan to govern Palestinians to bring them peace (or rest in peace?)?

    3) Yes, Seljuks. Not bad people, I mean it, back then catholic crusaders
    were the real deal, not Seljuks... but then apart from taking over eastern & central Minor Asian byzantine cities and representing the by then pacified Arabs in the war of muslims against infidels, what else did they do Seljuks themselves? Of course they fared culturally much better than catholics but catholics back then were by no means a measure of culture. I am not saying they were incapable or something, but they did not exactly produce something that is here with any of us today. Ottomans on the contrary have produced things that remained with you (totalitarian regimes, concentration camps, massacres, genocide etc.).

    4) You put words to me that I never said. Where did you see me attributing everything science and human thinking did on us Greeks? Where? The case of Karatheodoris is a well known one, if you are not literate in scientific issues you are welcomed to visit his museum in Greece, where we have the very long list of letters exchanged between Karatheodoris and Einstein prior to his publication of the relativity theory which were donated by the Israel state. Needless to say more.

    5) You call the democratically elected government of Jugoslavia as "regime". And you defend the unilateral decision of a communist dictator to give autonomy to a region having 50% Albanians and 50% Serbians that resulted in 20 years Serbians fleeing under a regime of violence from local mafias. Then you attack the decision of the democratically elected government to take out this ill-fated autonomy. Then you unilaterally decided that Kosovo is the homeland of Albanians and not the homeland of Serbians on the basis of Serbians having done their last stand there, thus being a myth... e??? I mean that simply does not make sense at all...Your way of thinking is weird Chris.

    You failed completely to answer my main question:
    "How do you explain the Ottoman shutting off? What happened? Who pressured them ot shut off their lights? Were they invaded? Were their cities destroyed? Was their population massacred?".

    Please answer...


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    IMPORTANT NOTE: That until now I have abstained from speaking about Poland attacking your ethnic background and culture and refering to it in any demeaning manner. You have done it repeatedly, I do not even need to make the list of the horrible things you said.

    I have remained strictly to points, you are far from being able to reply to even 1 of them.

    That is our difference of level between us. Correct your level please. This is a discussion that you started afterall.

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 5:12pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    ... not to mention your amazing affirmation that it was a Pole who found the heliocentric model. What was the name of this Pole? Copernicus? Ok. What else did he do in life apart having such "divine inspirations"?

    I won't even get in the trouble telling you who is the first (as recorded by historic records) to have presented a heliocentric model. This should be known to any one self-respecting literate person.

    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 5:14pm on 30 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    1.) I did not wish for Greeks to be conquered by Russians. Perhaps you were so flummoxed by my post that you wrote "Russians" instead of "Turks". But even so, I did not write anything about conquest. The kind of thing I would have in mind for that region would be more like a peaceful merger.

    As to your analogy - not every analogy is a good analogy. Merging Poland with Russia would not solve any of Poland's problems and it would not solve any of Russia's problems. In fact, the "region" that you are referring to (namely Poland) is going through a phase of economic and spiritual renaissance, therefore such a drastic step would likely not be necessary. I would understand your suggestion more if the Poles had just bankrupted their country and had a bad relationship with almost all of their neighbours, but that is not the case. Furthermore, as stated above, recent history shows that Russia has a tendency of de-populating acquired territory and turning once-prosperous towns and regions into wastelands. It is the nature of Russian expansionism in the last 300 years at least and as long as that does not change, I will counsel against any moves towards a political union with Russia.

    About your two Neonazi and Israel analogies - you know yourself that they are not even analogies but attempts at dishonouring my suggestion. You do not make Jewish-haters the ruler of a Jewish population and you do not make Arab-haters the ruler of an Arab population.

    2.) Gandhi was undoubtedly a subject to the British empire, but later on, as he became a freedom fighter, he became a citizen of the newly independent India. I do not understand why you seem to find it so difficult to see such a simple and common nexus. Korma is indeed a part of the new British cuisine and there is a distinctly British variation of the dish, which first came about in Lozells, which is a part of the British city of Birmingham.

    I cannot fathom what problem you have with the idea of nations being multi-ethnic. Do you really find it so hard to understand that a person with dark skin is just as British as a person with white skin?

    3.) judging from your latest condescension, you are "very literate" with regards to science. Well, how do you explain to yourself how complicated the path to special relativity was?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_special_relativity

    Countless scientists have evened out Einstein's path so that he would finally find out the truth behind the relationship between energy and matter. And you are saying a random teacher who (brilliant though he admittedly was) effectively did the work on his own.

    The theory of relativity was Einstein's work and this latest torturing of the facts just another pathetic attempt at national myth-building.

    4.) For the second time now you have posted the (veiled) threat that you might flag my posts. Another very eastern idea of differing opinion and freedom of speech, one result of which is (among many other things) 150 murdered journalists in Russia since 1989. You accuse me of racism, yet in at least two posts, you peddled nothing but racism. Your comments speak for themselves, but even if they did not, I would not feel animated to have anything deleted. Another symptom of the fact that you and me are from two completely different cultures. I value the fact there is freedom of speech in my society and am glad that everything can be said, even the most gratuitously hateful and offensive things like "Turkey is an uncivilised nation" or "the Ottomans never contributed anything of their own".

    Then you accuse me of hating Russian people. I was not brought up that way. I do not hate entire populations. I have an intense dislike for dishonesty. I come on these boards with my real name, because I do not write things that I feel I need to be ashamed about (minus all the typos and grammar fudges). Other people write under nicknames, possibly because they sense that many of the things they write are disreputable and offensive.

    I do not dislike Russian people, but I definitely dislike Stalinism. I was completely taken aback by the unabashed Stalinism that one participant had been peddling on these boards without anyone ever objecting. But rather than having the remarks removed (which might have been your first impulse had you found the unbridled Stalinism in those posts as offensive as I did) I spoke out. You misinterpreted that as "dislike of Russians". It would seem to me that differentiation is not your strongest point. I intensely dislike the Nazi ideology, but there is a lot of admiration I have for the many valuable contributions Germans have made over the centuries to science and technology, music and art, literature and philosophy.

    5.) Your pretended lack of understanding of my Kosovo point is transparently a diversion. Of course you understood what I meant. Yugoslavia might have been relatively democratic at one point but to call that mess a democracy at the beginning of the 90s when politicians just stripped away autonomies at will and the country did not even have a constitutionally legitimate leadership is simply absurd. You may say that Tito's decision to grant the Kosovo autonomy was a mistake. But it just so happened that the people in Kosovo were not to blame. And two generations onward, you cannot blame (or punish) the people in the region for wanting to keep that autonomy. The land belongs to the people, not to some outdated Serb-orthodox victimisation myth of having made a "last stand". As if the Serbs did not profit from the Ottomans. As if the people in the Balkans did not thank their lucky stars they did not have to live permanent fear of being accused of heresy or sourcery. It is true what you say, the regime in Belgrade should have done more to reduce crime in Kosovo, which they failed to do, instead of that they tried to take their rights away, which further alienated the people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 6:25pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    1) So while you do not wish to see Russians and Polish merged so as not to spoil your "precious development" you wish - for some reason I ignore - to see Greeks peacefull merging with the nation that genocided them and who continued to be extremely violent against them even in post-WWII years whenever the can including the very late years. Check out your logic there... if that is not extremely racist logic I wonder what is it.
    Speaking also of Greek economy like that is laughable. And if it is not even worse racism then what is it Chris? So if you don't realise your dream of becoming rich Chris, what do you do, you will become Russian or German? What kind of logic is that? Greeks never abided to these totalitarian and nihilist logics. Go back to what you said and check it out.

    2) My problem is that you take definitions as you wish and thus you lie blatantly in a pure Gebbelist way. You will blindly bash every one that happened to move around the Empire as Ottoman no matter if Arab or Persian or Greek and you will attribute it to Ottomans as if being a result of their "Ottoman culture" and call it "ottoman science" in the sense that this was produced because of "ottoman culture" as juxtaposed to other cultures. It is there where I disagree, not in the "ottoman" title of these scientists. You simply do not understand the logical trap you have fallen, but you do not seem to understand a lot of things you say.

    I have asked already 3 itmes, I will ask you once more:
    "Whatever happened to Ottoman science?"

    4) I never said that Ottomans never contributed anythign of their own. I said only my personal opinion that regardless of my views on Ottomans or modern Turks has no political colour in it : culture is culture and civilisaiton is a culture that surpassed its geographical boundaries and time scale. Greek civilisation talks to people from Siberia to South America. What has the Ottoman culture to say to Latin Americans? What has the Ottoman culture to say to Italians? What did it offer to Italians? How Italians were influenced by it? No, I won't even speak even in Italy. I will only mention Corfu and Parga. Google it yourself. By any measure Ottomans had a local culture and were not any civilisation. Calling them a civilisation is a political statement than a historic reality. I stay by that, it is a mathematical deduction. Now if you consider the "civilisation" term differently that is your approach not mine.

    3) You send me to a link in wikipedia which contains in details all the historic development of the idea of relativity - which as I first said was not only Einstein but also Pointcaré and many other scientists. But the link does not talk in detail about its actual proof. The fact is that only after 1915 Einstein came with the full mathematical proof. Einstein was already in contact with Karatheodoris. Their following letters span a period of 15 years (i.e. Einstein will remain in contact with him till the end of his productif life). It was Einstein himself that admited the part of Karatheodoris on his work on relativity. And it is the letters that prove that part - note that Einstein was a physisist not a mathematician. Karatheodoris was a physicomathematician so you know who gave what to whom. Its a fact that Israelis recognised during their very respectable and gentle move to give these letters to the Greek museum (I hope others had the sensitivities of these Israeli responsibles).

    5) What Slobodan Milosevic did in Kosovo was proved to be a very bad political move. What he should had done is to bring Albanians before their responsibilities. Milosevic was not a monster or a new Hitler as people posed him to be. Just an old school politician with little idea how things went on in the 90s. He had merely taken the responsibility of running the area. Albanians were not under any more control than what are suburbs of Paris and London. For the period 1990-1995 he had managed to fight Albanian mafias, only sending special police, arresting criminals, disarming bands but also setting a dialogue with Ibraim Rugova, a reasonable moderate leader of Albanians who fought for the re-establishment of autonomy within Jugoslavia. As Rugova led successful talks with Serbians, it was Americans who had other plans and chose a part of the mafias led by US-trained Thatchi to place aside Rugova and go for full scale war. It was mainly the rapid re-armament of Kosovar mafias that forced Slobodan to sent again special police in 95, and succeeded in pushing them down. Till then there was no war against Kosovars. Everyone was in his place though the disorder, I remember, there were a few of Greek students in Pristina, so there was nothing like a full scale war against Albanians (which would imply terrible violence). It was in 1998 when Kosovars appeared with a normal army armed with stingers able to bring down helicopters that Slobodan had to sent in the army to take them out thus causing that aftermath we know.
    In a way, Serbians had lost the game since the beginning cos Americans wanted it so. Kosovo was never meant to be an independent state. At least its main part in the north and east is Serbian land and there are parts in the west and south that are Albanian. The extense of these two are disputed but then one should note that Albanian demands throughout have been inflated due to their inflated demographics only and not due to any historic or social reality.
    Something which sets a very ominus example for all future cohabitations of ethnic groups, anywhere in the world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 7:23pm on 30 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    1.) well, my reasons (if I were Polish) for not wanting to join Russia at all and only wanting to to have political ties with Germany in as much as being a member of the EU are born out of prudence, not out of mythology and nationalistic pride. There are clear, tangible and powerful arguments against the merger. That is the difference.

    2.) well, those discoveries were Ottoman, because citizens/subjects of the Ottoman empire made them. They were Ottoman and not English or French or German or Spanish, because in Europe, any scientific research a scientist would undertake was a threat to life and limb, because the Christian lunatics would accuse anyone as a heritic who did not follow the Christian dogma and burn them alive. Therefore, those scientists were Ottomans, not Europeans. The other rhetorical device you used "like Goebbels" may have felt good and powerful when you posted it, but it just fizzled out without any effect.

    3.) There is no such wikipedia link that I know of. I simply made the point that it was clearly not Caratheodory who developed the theory of relativity - it was Einstein, but even he did not do it alone, he was "a dwarf standing on the shoulder of a giant" (Isaac Newton). Now, if you say Caratheodory helped Einstein or gave him inspiration, then I am all with you. But it is ludicrous to suggest, it was anyone but Einstein who invested the effort to actually develop the idea.

    4.) Ottoman influence in the world - all Polish and German synagogues of the 19th century were constructed in the so-called neo-Islamic style. Sadly, almost all those buildings were destroyed during World War 2, one synagogue in Berlin being one proud reminder of the proud influence the Islamic world had on Jewish architecture before the holocaust. Then there are the so-called "onion spires" you see on church towers in southern Germany and Austria, also an import from the Ottoman empire.

    Any machine that uses valves and pistons uses Ottoman technology. Therefore, every country that is at least moderately developed uses Ottoman technology, including South America, Europe, Africa and, yes, Greece.

    5.) I would have things to say about this Yugoslavian item, too. But I do not unnecessarily inflame the discussion. I am not a sadist and I do not want to distress you more than I already have. Just this perhaps: next time, please refrain from accusing other people of "not knowing anything" about the break-up of Yugoslavia, as it is condescensions like that that can easily backfire.

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 8:45pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    1) You are not Polish, so why don't you tell us what you are? Why you keep hiding? I am seriously concerned of people hiding their background, unless they indeed live in a difficult environment and it is their survival tactic. Is that your case? In anyway, your case is that hiding behind this anonymity you keep swearing other nations as mythologies. So tell me exactly, what is exactly in my nation that you find a mythology? That I speak Greek? Is it a mythology? That I am a Mediterranean people something that Bulgarians, Serbians and Albanians are not (ask Generalissimo on that, he is Bulgarian) and Turks largely not (apart those islamified on Greek and near-Greek ancient territories)? Oh... I said how I look like, now you will call me a racist (oh! oh!). Funnily Generalissimo who is Bulgarian will agree with me, perhaps he might be racist against himself for accepting my "crazy mythological affirmations" and for not convincing himself that he is identical to Greeks but he does not realise so.

    You are not from the Balkans and you pretend to know everything, tell us & amuse us.

    2) oi!!! what you say if no interst to me. It is not a point. I called them Ottoman irst of you. But I said that the bulk of these people are all concentrated roughly between 1350 and 1550, implying that it was not the Ottoman system that gave rise to them but merely these were either Persians and Arabs or ex-christians of 1st, maximum 2nd generation. From 1600 onwards we have a huge blank till our days.

    So I will do how many times? 5 times the same question? Till you answer:

    5 repetition: "Whatever happened to "Ottoman science"? Why it got lost? Why Ottomans ended up with 2,5% literacy levels in 1900? Tell me. Explain to me.

    This is the last time I ask and really I should not. You have for a long time lost all of your arguments, I would not expect you to answer this one, since there is practically no-one that can answer it with any other answer than the one I give above.

    3) Einstein was a very important scientist but according to my humble opinion not the best of the 20th century, perhaps the most well known also due to the political background, somethin natural. If one has to pick the best that must be the "man who invented the 20th century", Tesla. From there on you have Poincaré, Bohr, Tchiolkovfsky and a large team of well known scientists in various fields etc. among whom Karatheodoris has a special position as the man who "contributed" partially or according to others wholy providing the mathematical proof to the relativity theory. Scientifically speaking, the one to which a theory is attributed, is the one that comes with the mathematical and/or experimental proof. Now, if you ask my opinion, I am not into debating that as I have to retake all the evidence,not my case here. And Einstein is not at all lowered in my eyes, I do consider him as a great scientist, one of the greatest. If you want I am fond of Karatheodoris "only for science's shake" approach and love his immense educational background - he was one of the most completely educated people of our times.
    My initial question was, where is the Ottoman Karatheodoris? Do we have any? Would for example Poincaré search in... Istanbul someone to exchange scientific letters? Would Instabul host any such symposium? I ask again (and not count it as 6th...), whatever happened to Ottoman science? Who took it from them? Who erased their schools? Who kept their people illiterate at a breathtaking - for 20th century - level of 97,5%?

    4) You know yourself that the examples, while acceptable, hardly consist of any proof of the existence of an Ottoman civilisation. The valves and pistons existed in Arabic books at times prior to Seljuk entry to Iraq and were based in ancient hellenistic work which in turn was based we ignore (perhaps Babylonians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Myceaneans etc.).

    5) Distressed me? Quite the opposite. Answer no3 to prove me wrong.

    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 9:48pm on 30 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Ottoman science never got lost. Valves and pistons were not lost. Of course you were going to make the claim that valves and pistons were Greek ideas. How predictable can you get? According to you, everything was a Greek idea, including rocket science, genetics, electronics, the ipod and Spongebob Squarepants. I have given you exmaples of how the Ottomans have left a permanent mark on humanity, even by your own definition of what makes a civilisation. Please try harder to stay honest and do not ignore evidence clearly presented to you. The literacy rate you came up with has not been backed up with any credible source. And I already told you why the Ottoman empire ended. Please do not deny I did. Please try harder to keep this debate honest.

    Your nation, on the other hand, is yet to leave its permanent mark. So perhaps a little bit of respect for Ottoman achievement would not be such a bad thing.

    Giving Carathedory the credit for the theory of relativity rather than Einstein is ludicrous. You have so far claimed that he came up with the mathematical formula that backs up the theory of relativity whereas received knowledge would suggest it was the other way round: Carathedory gave Einstein an idea (possibly unwittingly so) and Einstein turned it into science. Your idea by the way that "the one who makes a mathematical formula is the one who is to be seen as the developer of the idea" - who made that rule? By the way, I am fully aware why you are fond of Carathedory: he was "Greek". Nationaliss have that habit of arrogating achievements for any random members of their nation or ethnicity, something that Carathedory would presumably never have done.

    This does not mean I am disrespecting Carathedory (or Nikola Tesla for that matter), but one must not allow any nationalist to arrogate Einstein's achievements for nationalistic purposes, the same way that Illyrian, Macedonian, or Greek history must not be arrogated for nationalistic ambitions of today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 11:21pm on 30 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    1) Simply said, I am a Macedonian - by the way what are you (you never dared to tell me)? . Macedonian is Greek since Macedonia is a region in Greek, it is the region I live. There is no other, and I won't leave you just like that you to repeat empty propagandas here. and bend the words, on which you do not have the slightest understanding. There is nothing like "macedonian people", "macedonian tribe", "macedonian ethnic group" or "macedonian nation". The term as you use it in an obvious way to offend me (as-if), was invented by Tito in 1945 to be applied in what was then south Serbia, a part that was taken by Bulgaria (i.e. having Bulgrarian speakers) for his well documented strategic offensive against Greece while keeping down the Bulgarian sentiment.
    I mention all that to challenge you to bring me any evidence of prior existence of any such group... don't try... FYROMians try 20 years know, if there was anything they would have brought to us already...

    1) Illyrians are a nation that left no written record of their presence, let alone anything more. We learn on them mainly from Romans and bits and parts from Greeks who hardly had any frequent contact with them apart a few small Greek colonies in Croatia and occasional wars with the Epirot kingdom (which did not border with them, there were other Greek Epirot tribes north of them). Illyrians lived in modern day Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia. It is hypothetised that modern Albanians a nation that emerged in the 12th century are related to them, it is feasible since they also descended from Montenegro, but research has not concluded yet.

    3) I just proved you that no Ottoman ever invented the piston but people before them
    - you continue to say that the piston was invented by Ottomans...
    - You are simply lying.

    4) I mentioned the most ancient descriptions we have are hellenistic and from there on we can only imagine who else had worked on that before
    - and you accuse me of branding the piston greek....
    - You are simply lying.

    5) I asked you to explain to me where Ottoman science went
    - You failed

    6) The literacy level of Ottomans, i.e. turkish/albanian speaking muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire, apart Arabs (who were not Ottomans but subjects of Ottomans) in 1900 was 2,5% that means only a 5% of men (as literate women were a rarity). Out of this 5% half were the priests that studied in Mandrasas. The other worked for the Ottoman bureaucracy. It is perceived that a bit larger number of them could write oly their name, or numbers but nothing is certain. Literate is someone that can write a whole sentence and what is certain that 97,5% of Ottomans could not. I have read the above from a very sure source I won't spend time retrieving it, so take it as it is. I never presented anything false in the above including this so either accept it, either don't accept it, I won't come back on you on that. If you wish though, make your own search and come back to me with any evidence of the opposite. If you can.

    7) Why should I be more fond of Einstein when Karatheodoris proved (at least partially) the relativity theory. Scientifically the theory is of the one that proved it. Einstein just described it and published it before proof. Karatherodoris aided him prove it. Science moves by proof something of course you complete seem to ignore. I told you, my favourite is Tesla and he is not Greek. Still have a problem?

    8) I do not need to tell you that I won't repeat anymore my question:

    "where did Ottoman science go"...

    ... you answered me with pistons that Ottomans did not invent, and did not even use apart sporadically in early times and then imported machinery in the industrial age in which they had not contributed despite being supposedly a dominant Empire in the center of the world.

    You failed to present a single standing argument. Its ok. It happens when you do not have a single standing argument.

    But telling where you come from is not an argument, it is the basics of good manners when you interlocutor told you where he comes from (and you attack him racistically...). If you are ashamed or just afraid or generally avoiding saying that on the net, then I sincerely am wondering why should I take you seriously.... anyway I did not learn anything else from you apart your particular dislike against orthodox people...

    better luck next discussion...

    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 00:40am on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    1.) As I said, I was brought up different from you. Where I was brought up, you do not ask for ethnicity or nationality. In England, the country I lived in before I moved to Europe two years ago, we judge people by their actions, not their ethnicity.

    3.) you proved no such thing. You mentioned something about Arabic writings based on hellenic science (your usual shtick) and then moved on. That does not qualify as proof.

    4.) hellenistic science is Greek science. You are clearly displaying anger at having lost too much of this argument.

    5.) no, I did not. Please try harder to keep your debates honest. I mentioned pistons, navigation, medicine, physics. You are yet to disprove or falsify any of it. And it stayed, it did not go anywhere. Any town using a sweage sytem is using Ottoman technology. Any student learning about human anatomy will refer in part to Ottoman research or the further development of Ottoman research. Anyone wearing glasses, using telescopes, microscopes, magnifying glasses, binoculars, monocles, lasers, cameras uses a part of Ottoman technology.

    Once again, you are displaying anger. You are betraying you despair of having failed to present a convincing argument. Just stay cool, take a step back and breathe. There is no shame in losing an argument.

    6.) I knew you were going to use the wikipedia source. The honest thing to do would have been to present the full context. Far over ninety percent were illiterate as far as the Ottoman language was concerned, because all the other languages spoken in the Ottoman empire were not taken into consideration when the level of literacy within the Ottoman empire was assessed. The Ottoman language was a language only spoken by the elites, even every day Turkish people spoke and wrote a different type of Turkish, which automatically rendered them illiterate. There are a few words one might use to descrie your debating style. "Sincere" isn't one of them.

    Once again, your idea of good manners is not everybody's idea of good manners. I do not go up to people and tell them my ethnic background first thing and I do not go up to people and ask them about their ethnic background. Britain has been in existence since 1066 and has evolved into a fine, civilised society with rules of social interaction deemed acceptable around the world. I do not feel that I need lessons in good manners from somebody whose country and nation has been in existence for less than 200 years, spews forth one racial slur after the other against Turks, Macedonians and Albanians, speculates rudely and intrusively what other people's ethnicity might be (as if that had any informational value in a debate! - my points would be just as valid as they are if I were Austrian or Congolese, your points just as flimsy and threadbare if you were Australian or Chilean), and then has the unmitigated gall to accuse me of having attacked them racially. All I did was maintain that any continuity between modern Italians and the Romans, modern Egyptians and ancient Egyptians, Aztecs and Mexicans, Iraqis and Babylonians, ancient Greeks and modern Greeks are nothing more than quaint attempts at national myth-building. If people transparently use that to dismiss nations that in fact have achieved much more than the contrived "ancient nations", then that's not amusing and harmless anymore. It's fascism. If you want to call yourself Archimedes, go ahead. I am not being racist when I laugh at that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 08:29am on 31 Mar 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    At 00:40am on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote,

    ‘5.) no, I did not. Please try harder to keep your debates honest. I mentioned pistons, navigation, medicine, physics. You are yet to disprove or falsify any of it. And it stayed, it did not go anywhere. Any town using a sweage sytem is using Ottoman technology. Any student learning about human anatomy will refer in part to Ottoman research or the further development of Ottoman research. Anyone wearing glasses, using telescopes, microscopes, magnifying glasses, binoculars, monocles, lasers, cameras uses a part of Ottoman technology.’


    You are completely lost, mate. You have gone so far in your defence of the ottoman ‘brilliance’, that you have started making claims, the fallacy of which is of cosmic proportions.

    On you points above I suggest you read more about:
    Roman architecture
    Hippocrates
    Galen
    Archimedes
    al-Khwārizmī
    Leonardo
    Vesalius

    Howver, judging from your previous posts I rather fear that you will competely disregard any of them. So be it; there is nobody so blind as those who would not see.

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 09:23am on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re284: Chris, calling the other a fascist is the most easy thing and that is what you do claiming I disregard other cultures but when I call you Gebbelist I mean it on the basis of your "wooden speech", empty of the slightest argument full of bigotry against the civilisation I come and the general context you put it correctly or wrongly (i.e. Russians and other orthodox...).

    Why did I bother when for a long series of messages you refuse to answer to the simplest of questions? I do bother to make it a point.

    Hiding your ethnic background is exaclty a result of a fascist process. I do respect people for what they are. You do not respect what you are and you are described by the places you randomly find yourself thus you are not in position to respect me or my culture. On top of that your feeble allegation that "I do not care where the other comes from but I care of what he does" is torn by your own approach showing immense bigotry against Russians and Greeks and Serbians while your approach towards Ottomans - a culture universally reknowned for its backwardness and extreme violence as noted by the totality of the people that lived in parallel with them or met them - together with your allegation that you "strive to be objective" (which you are not) means that you take axiomatic positions which in the complete lack of your argumentation can only be attributed to your background and/or experiences.

    Re:285:
    Isenhorn when every sentence is a lack of argumentation I have only to note that there are indeed a lot of people that lost loves in summers and resentment is the aftermath.

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 09:57am on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Isenhorn, I did not disregard any of them, but I fail to see what point you are trying to make. Care to specify?

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 12:00pm on 31 Mar 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    Chris Camp,

    The point I am trying to make is evident for everyone who knows who the people in the list were.

    Now let us play a small game- 'spot the ottoman' :-)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_microscope_technology

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 1:34pm on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Very simple, the list is incomprehensive and Euro-centric. It does not include any middle Eastern scientist. The middle East has been instrumental in the development of the lense and the Ottoman Empire was the first place were lenses were aligned to allow for advanced telescopy.

    Where in that list is Ali Kuşçu? In his Istanbul observatory, he had lenses made that allowed for the most advanced form of astronomy of his day. Where is Qāḍīzāda al-Rūmī?

    Where do they mention the magnificent Ulugh Beg Observatory in Uzbekistan where atsronomers first aligned lenses in the same way that astronomical telescopes do today?

    Here's some little advice for next time. Wikipedia is a great source, but is not always comprehensive.

    I know who mopst of the people in the list were, except for Vesalius, who I was unfamiliar with. As it stands, it is just a list. My point is clear: as the Ottoman Empire was the country where ballcocks, pistons and valves were invented, nobody who uses modern sanitation goes without Ottoman technology. I do not know about your country, but the sewage system in the town I live in uses pistons and valves. The cistern in my bathroom has a ballcock in it. Yours hasn't? Nobody who becomes a doctor and studies the human anatomy will do so without coming across knowledge that was first acquired by Ottomans. Anyone who drives a car and therefore uses a crankshaft will use Ottoman technology.

    You gave me a list. I do not know what to do with that list. There are a couple of extremely hateful southern Balkans monoculturalist who would seek to demonise the Ottomans and claim they never contributed anything to mankind. I have simply repudiated them andc proved them wrong. Which angle are you coming from?

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 4:04pm on 31 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Chris Camp

    Re #289

    That's a fine defence/show of support for Seljuk/Ottoman/Turkish science 6 technology.

    Unfortunately, like almost everything else to with Islam - - the last 300+ years there has been a spectacular decline in contributions to the 'modern' World - - and if we start to claim the cistern, automobile etc. owe origin to Turkish engineering then those inventors of the wheel, the spoke, the spindle etc. surely get a look-in and they pre-date any modern religion!

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 5:04pm on 31 Mar 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    Re: 289,

    Right, I have seen where the problem is. You are not clear what ottoman means. Under ottoman you seem to bundle any Central Asian, Arab or Persian scientist who ever existed, regardless of where they lived, studied and did their work. And regardless of who actually made any use of it. You even go as far as to claim Uzbekistan is a country in all respects being synonymous with the ottoman empire. Hence, an observatory in Samarqand suddenly becomes an ottoman observatory.
    Now I understand why you are so certain that the ottomans invented everything. By listing together every scientist with Muslim-sounding name, who came from an area roughly 2000 miles in diameter from Constantinople, and who lived circa 14-19 century, you could claim that the ottomans invented not only the WC, but also the hot water. And when that does not work, suddenly the list of inventors which does not contain any true ottoman name, becomes Euro-centric.

    As to the ottomans inventing the pistons and valves- well, in the 500 years they ruled Bulgaria, no one ever saw a piston or a valve invented or build by the ottomans. Nor sewers, nor telescopes. The ottomans were so advanced that the first factory in the ottoman empire was build in the town of Sliven in Bulgaria, by a Bulgarian- Dobri Zhelyazkov. And before you accuse me of Southern Slavic chauvinism, I haste to point out that the factory was equipped with machinery imported from Britain and France.
    I do not know about the other Balkan countries you so seem to despise, but from what I have learned from Nik, they are also places where the only ottoman pistons and valves which can be found are in your posts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 5:08pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool_brush_work,
    I also have been thinking so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 293. At 5:11pm on 31 Mar 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    But I don't mind the notion of the "Turkish carpet".

    An awful handy thing no doubt. Modern by all means. Not post-modern :o))))) but , how to say, AC definitely.

    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 5:25pm on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    coolbrushwork - I completely agree with you. Ottoman and Islamic science has declined in a way that is painful to watch to anyone who is an admirer of that great multi-cultural empire.

    My starting point was intitally a position taken against the hateful, monocultural position that the Ottomans never invented anything because the inventors were actually "Persian" or "Greek" or "Arab", plus the unbelievably racist comment that the Turks where just a bunch of slitty-eyed horsemen from the steppes who did not have any hunger for education. I felt compelled to repudiate those coments. Every nation hungers for knowledge. Multicultural nations are at least as legitimate as monocultural nations - the one eternal truth that stopped me from supporting the war against Yugoslavia. The Ottoman inventors did not concern themselves with being "Greek" or "Persian" or "Turkish". They simply didn't have any time for such petty nonsense.

    Monoculturalism is hatred.

    I maintain that it is perfectly alright for the "Greeks" to call themselves descendants of the real Greeks. Every nation creates myths for itself and they are rarely compatible with the facts. It is alright AS LONG AS they do not do so at the expense of other nations. Some of those mythologists have started calling other nations barbaric and uncivilised on the basis of that contrived lineage. Any truly civilised person must make a stand against that kind of fascism.

    I also agree with you that the Ottomans too stood on the shoulders of giants. Every scientist does. Let's take the example of the car, an invention usually attributed to Germany. What about its parts? The wheels are a bronze age invention from the middle east. The crank shaft is an Ottoman invention. Steel is a British invention (or rather: development). The only thing in the car that makes the car a German invention is the petrol-fuelled combustion engine, and the spark plugs.

    The Wright brothers, who invented aviation, by the way, also used a combustion engine for their first plane. Every new technology is based on a piece of old technology. So yes, the Ottomans stood on the shoulders of giants, as every discoverer does. One does not start every new discovery by re-inventing the wheel. But each new step should be respected as an achievement in its own right and not arrogantly dismiss it as a plagiarised feat of ancient hellenic science plagiarised by uncivilised horsemen.

    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 7:07pm on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Lame excuses Chris. You lie then you hide behind lame excuses.

    1) Pistons are noted in Persian and Arabic 9th century books and they do seem to be copied of more ancient works and not originals. Ottoman Empire in 9th century perhaps!!!!!!!
    2) You mentioned an observatory built by muslims in Uzbekistan. But these were Iranians back then! Prior to the various turkic tribes descent that gave modern Uzbeks (and Uzbeks were not Seljuks, nor Ottomans by the way). Uzbekistan was never part of any Ottoman Empire!!!!!

    Turks that founded Seljuk and Ottoman states were originally turcomongolic tribes. I accept your justification that since the beginnin they incorporated lots of locals (in fact I will add even more: a vast majority of them were a mix of the various locals. So local people can all be called Ottoman subjects.

    But how on earth can you link these Ottoman subjects with pistons described in 9th century and with middle Asia Iranians?

    And still...

    ... you haven't explained "How all that wealth of knowledge was lost in such an enlightened (as per you) Empire".

    Chris, I do not mind you admiring the Ottomans. You might have your reasons (art, way of thinking, army etc.). But as to how much enlightened they were, the verdict has fallen since centuries know. And it is impossible to find new elements. Their history ir recent and well documented. If anything, modern Turks did their best to show Ottomans' best part but still they have not came up with anything comparable to even marginal European states of the times.

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 7:09pm on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    """"" coolbrushwork - I completely agree with you. Ottoman and Islamic science has declined in a way that is painful to watch to anyone who is an admirer of that great multi-cultural empire."""""

    You did not agree with me, you called me racist for this. You agree with CBW. Agreeing will not provide you with an escape route. You have to stick to that and give us an explanation for this phenomenon that terribly contradicts your affirmations. It is the 10th time I ask you to do this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 297. At 8:41pm on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Isenhorn, I did not say the Ottomans invented everything. I said that the Ottoman Empire was a multicultural nation, regardless of "Greek", "Persian", "Arab", "Turkish".

    As for Uzbekistan - what I said was,

    "Where do they mention the magnificent Ulugh Beg Observatory in Uzbekistan where atsronomers first aligned lenses in the same way that astronomical telescopes do today?"

    The Timurid dynasty were people of Turkish descent. The fact that Turkish people established great civilisations that straddled all of central Asia from west to east, is proof of the fact the the Turkish were more than just primitive horsemen who did not contribute to civilisation. I know it wasn't you who made the racist comment.

    By the way, you said at some other point that the Ottomans never contributed any of their culture to Bulgaria, yet Bulgaria is studded with Ottoman architecture. How do you explain that?

    Nik, if I may say so, you are beginning to sound like one of those grammophone records with a glitch. Every Ottoman achievement is a copy from an earlier discovery. You do not seem to understand the underlying principle of scientific research. Scientists hardly ever discover anything completely new. They take what is known already and build on it. Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, did not have to invent the Roman alphabet first so he could print letters. He only invented the press. So please stop waffling about obscure scrolls and writings that you claim were somewhere to be found somewhere in central Asia, therefore the Ottomans did not invent anything. Firstly, you never back up what you say. You just claim there was prior research. And second you do not seem to understand the discipline of scientific research.

    About your "question" - you change that question every time and then, after I answer it, you claim I didn't answer it. This time your question sounds as if you want to know why the Ottoman Empire declined. Please express yourself clearly. Please do not rudely accuse other people of failing to answer your questions when you fail to express yourself clearly.

    This is why I think the Ottoman Empire declined.

    The first and most important reason is the fate that all empires seem to share. The Romans came and went, the Greeks came and went, the Caliphate came and went, the Ottomans came and went, the British came and are almost out, the Americans have just been past the apex of their rule it seems and other great civilisations are going to come and go. There seems to be just one exception to the rule - the only civilisation that has survived through the ages and continues to be a great civilisation is China. Usually civilisations start as ambitious little nations that expand for a while, then they enter a golden age during which science, culture and military prowess blossoms. This was usually followed by a period of complacency, which was brought about decay and decline - all this, of course stretched across a long time, it is not rare for an empire to last for almost a millenium.

    The second reason is the reason I specified before - the Ottoman empire was infected with the virus of nationalism - the British empire suffered the same fate. Nations that are not based on ethnicity and race are usually morally superior, but if several of the ethnicities within the empire have got their heart set on their own little hateful endeavour to start their own nations, mono-cultural, mono-ethnic, exclusive and reactionary, then that is the death-sentence for the multi-ethnic state.

    The third reason is Islam. The Ottoman Empire, unlike northern and western Europe, did not go through a phase of enlightenment. All the way through to the Kemalist revolution, Islam remained the dominant culture of the Ottoman empire, which held it back. It was good for as long as Islam was still morally superior to the west, with its witch hunts and pogroms against Jews and scientists, but when the west shed the shackles of Christian dogmam, the entire Islamic world fell behind.

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 10:17pm on 31 Mar 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris you have a distorted logic where you can bend anything, you can put words claiming I said this or that... you keep lying to every single point you make and all that to pass what? You lied about the pistons, you purposefully placed there the works of Iranians in Uzbekistan as-if related to Ottomans, and you call Ottoman things that Ottomans did not seem to comprehend 200 and 300 years after the dates you give for these great works of Ottoman science without having suffered any natural or human catastrophe.

    The reasons you gave for the downfall of the Ottoman Empire are simply laughable. BUT that was not the question!!! I asked the question clearly 10 times and still you keep lying saying I changed it, people are not blind to see I asked the same question so many times in every message of mine. The question was on Ottoman science and why it was lost! Why Ottomans stopped produced this hypothetic science?

    But then even your move to avoid the question answering another completely different, that of the downfall of the Ottoman Empire was a total failure in itself. It was the first time you tried to present an analysis and it was, to put it simply, downright embarassing. I am sorry, I rarely say it to people I discuss online but I cannot take whatever you say seriously.

    You took a discussion and you transformed it into comedy. As I said above better luck (for us) next time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 10:37pm on 31 Mar 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Chris Camp, Nik, WebAlice, Isenhorn etc.

    Re 'inventions', 'inventors' & origins thereof..

    I wonder if any of You recall seeing a Hollywood Film called 'Flash of Genius', about the true story of the 'inventor' of the Intermittent Windscreen Wiper?

    A technology teacher called Robert Kearns came up with the first fully functional Intermittent-Wiper Blade mechanism & took it to Ford Motor Co in the 1950s. According to the film Ford Engineers then used the Patents & claimed it as their own design. It took the inventor 15 years of Legal Cases in the USA to finally prove he was the original inventor.

    The point being in the ultimate Court Case the inventor wanted to show the Jury in a simple manner how his many uses of other equipment plus his own pieces gave him the right to claim it was his invention.

    To do it Kearns read the first 3 paragraphs from the novel, 'A Tale of Two Cities', by Charles Dickens and explained each word could be found in any dictionary, but putting them in the order to create the uniqueness of 'A Tale of Two Cities' was all down to the Author/Inventor!

    Ingenious!

    BTW: He was awarded 15 million dollars & later received a similar amount from Chrysler.

    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 11:14pm on 31 Mar 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Ottoman science stopped because Ottoman civilisation was declining. You will find there was much less science in Rome and in Greece in the dying days of those two great civilisations.

    I did not lie about pistons. Why should I? What would I gain from that?

    But you are clearly angry about something. I'm not quite sure what.

    Nik, I do not place any value in being taken seriously whose standard reply is "that was a hellenic invention" and "there are writings somewhere that prove it". You are clearly not in the habit of backing up what you've got to say. You've got your little continuity fad with "we are the Greeks who magically reappeared after hundreds of years of absence from the face of the Earth", and that's withoutout saying. Everyone's got the right to have an amusing little fad.

    But stop taking yourself so seriously, sheesh, ever heard of that thing called humour and self-deprication?

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 00:47am on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Why all got stuck on that Uzbekistan observatory, of all places? :o)))))

    First of all, it is Russia that made "Uzbekistan" :o))))))
    And got interested what's there, excavated things, this and that, locals themselves didn't seem awaful interested :o))))) Evil USSR, to be more exact.
    Archeologist expeditions, Hermitage crews, restorations-preservation, books written on the discoveries.

    Not some "Ulug Beg", by the way, the chap's name who got fond of an observatory construction idea was Ulukbek :o)))))
    Ruler of Samarkand, Tamerlan's grandson. Not limited in means, how to say, fin. situation allowing the fancy.

    For that matter Tamerlan wasn't any Tamerlan either :o)))), to be correct - simply Timur (bin Taragay Barlas) (surname :o), fondly nick-named in Persia Timur-e-Lang (Timur the Limping one :o))))
    They could hardly stand him, clearly wanted to call him a lame duck but couldn't express it well :o))))

    Anyway Ulugbek the grandson awaful much loved the Maraga/Meraga city observatory in modern Persian Azerbajan eh, that is Iranian Azerbajan, built may I remind the audience in 1259, which is slightly earlier than construction began 1420-1424 (as Hermitage thinks) the Ulukbek production, to say nothing the Meraga one was the main in the East in those centuries by all means.

    Tamerlan took Ulugbek with to Persia when visiting on business talks, this and that, the child (ab 9 years old) liked the toy, got impressed and said "I want the same!"
    And made his dreams come true when began owning Samarkand himself, and Samarkand has been an awful rich place, the lame duck :o)))) didn't spare any expenses for it, "there'll be always blue sky and yellow golden shine over Samarkand"

    Now, the Maraga observatory head a head designer all rights reserved, who put together a big Andron Collider type of project team to work on it, namely - 100 scientists China included who only not, about a dozen brilliant mind names knows.

    The acting approach to build the Maraga one was a state order "all learned men or the ones who look suspiciously so :o)))) ,scientists and mathematicians captured by turks not to kill but send us over in case know anything about maths and astronomy" :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 302. At 09:46am on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And there were no glass pieces in the Ulugbek-sky :o) observatory; as min none that we found :o)

    It was more in the style of the Stonehedge Stone those big stones in England.
    Though of course who knows what was used in Stonehedge either as accessories.

    That's how it looks

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Here is the link to an Uzbek travel company advertising their observatory, in English, though must say in awkward English :o) but just slightly worse than mine :o)


    http://www.advantour.com/uzbekistan/samarkand/observatory.htm

    Complain about this comment

  • 303. At 10:49am on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Uzbekistan = cotton. Which I miss very much.

    When Russian Empire grabatised the region from Persia (bad. bad Persian influence :o)))) no good for them definitely :o))), we played with rivers, dig canals and irrigated them to extraordinary degrees. They were dry land became watery. And the huge cotton business began.

    Of same importance there, as ? same status as it were in the Southern States in the US.

    Uzbeks were always divided into two types - cotton planation workers - the whole country, read, slaves, be it Empire or USSR, and the ? how to say? local oligarchs - cotton owners.

    There were absolute cotton kings, sitting in the Presidium of the Communist Party of the USSR :o)))), literally - enormously rich cotton kings.
    That was full USSR cotton, for 15 modern countries, we have not exported a flower from elsewhere.
    There were cotton wars, between local chieftains, cotton scandals, cotton what not.
    Given that everything in the USSR was either cotton or wool or silk (from the same region), chemical industry of USSR was always a lame duck :o) in terms of making anything synthetical (a bug. they couldn't :o) - I mean, cotton , one word.

    Now China ate them up. In terms of cotton market, I mean. They failed to compete and lost their markets.

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 10:58am on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    By the way I don't know where China takes its cotton from, that it trades in.
    Must be, in the same Uzbekistan :o)))). or South Asia.

    So when I get a Chinese cotton t-shirt, or anything :o)))), I console myself it might be same good old Uzbek cotton :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 305. At 11:04am on 01 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re.300: Chris, you lied and you continue to lie. Pistons are mentioned in 9th century Perso-arabic texts. Turks were still east of Kaspian at that time. And these perso-arabic texts were copies and/or continuations of past work that dates in Hellenistic times. From there one we can only imagine. And I had clearly stated by guesses, Egyptians, Babylonians etc. But you have to lie again and tell me I called everything Hellenic. I am sorry but I cannot accept this.

    Now you at last reponded to my question with a simple:

    "Ottoman science stopped because Ottoman civilisation was declining..."

    Nice. No money no honey. What do you mean declining? Just because they did not have as much money as in the past they decided not to go to school ending up in their early 20th century deplorable literacy standards? I am afraid your response is

    You also added this
    "You will find there was much less science in Rome and in Greece in the dying days of those two great civilisations."

    ... to prove me how much little you know about history, ok about Rome declining and all that (.. and I guess you consider the likes of Galenos as Romans and not Greeks)... but can you please pin point me "the dying day of Greek civilisation". It will be amusing to know what you think of it.

    You said
    "But you are clearly angry about something. I'm not quite sure what."

    Angry I am not, I have nothing personal against you, we have not money or land to divide or something. I am just making a point for the shake of making it: I just pinpoint your lies and your total failure to raise the level of discussion.

    You said:
    Nik, I do not place any value in being taken seriously whose standard reply is "that was a hellenic invention" and "there are writings somewhere that prove it"."

    Liar. I never called anything "hellenic invention".

    You said:
    You are clearly not in the habit of backing up what you've got to say.

    Why should I do all that work? Even when I refer to you directly, it makes no difference to you, you will bend the truth again in some way. So I enjoy more showing your deficiencies. I am not here to teach you the real history. If you were ever interested you would had done it by now.

    Just take the following you mention:
    ""You've got your little continuity fad with "we are the Greeks who magically reappeared after hundreds of years of absence from the face of the Earth", and that's withoutout saying. Everyone's got the right to have an amusing little fad.""

    So point me these "hundreds of years of absence" please. When did that happen? Did we go into our spaceship and came back or sometihng? Now, the most funny thing is that you above in your message 297 you mention the exact opposite making talk about "nationalisms". Well nationalism cannot exist without a nation.

    See Chris in what logical traps you fall? You lie and the you lie over your lie.

    Now I know you will respond by saying it was all about "orthodox christian nationalism". Problem is how all these christian populations in mainland Greece, in the islands, in Cyprus, in western Minor Asian coastline, in Black Sea Minor Asian coastline got together and agreed to chose the name "Greeks". And most importantly... why all these far and not continuous lands decided to do that while orthodox christians of Albania and Bulgaria and Serbia did not do the same while being more close to the Greeks than those orthodox christians on eastern Pontos.

    Anyway. Chris. You have missed all these points, you have missed the whole point, how can you understand what I say? You simply refuse to understand.

    My self I understand you see Ottomans in a positive light. I have absolutely no problem with that. I understand you see every citizen that lived in it as an Ottoman. I have no problem with that. But you go on to the extend of talking about "Ottoman science" not in the sense of random individuals inside the Empire, but in the sense that the Ottoman system and culture was fostering science.

    Well it is there I have a serious disagreement and I explained to you that Ottoman science was like the last vestiges of scientific work of the pre-Ottoman Greek and Arab world. As soon as 3 generations passed, the science was a thing of the past. Why? Because the Ottoman system was not focused on such things. There was never any genuine interest. Printing was forbidden. Education was good only to produce 2-3 people to serve in the bureaucratic system. The muslim masses (let alone christian ones) were kept purposefully illiterate. Christians started building shools at autonomous territories and by 18th century were vastly more educated than muslims (in fact one wonders if ever Ottoman muslims passed them in literacy levels - despite the blow of the 15th and 16th centuries, completely dark ages for christians...). By 19th century, at the fall of the Ottoman Empire Ottomans were the least educated lot of all.

    I am sorry but their "falling educational standards" cannot be explained by their overall downfall. The truth is that it was these their educational standards throughout. Only difference is that in 14th-16th centuries for 200 years, their rapid expansion permitted them to profit from the local stock that was still unaffected by their system. By the 2nd and 3rd generations the Ottoman system would absorb all that potential and transform it to the sleepy but also violent Ottoman muslim stock.

    I know what you are going to call the above view - you think I belittle the Ottomans. Wrong. Preemptively I tell you that the above does not imply Ottomans were stupid or something. If you wanted my opinion on them, I consider them extremely intelligent. However, intelligent as they had been, their ambition was to simply govern as feudal lords the lands they managed to conquer after so many centuries of effort and due to a lot of chance (i.e. the Crusaders' raids that destroyed Byzantium thanx to the machinations of the local Byzantine ruling class of course). You should know that the Ottoman system was essentially a feudal system in all but the name. It was not the sultan but the local pashas that governed. It was not the Ottoman army but the local militias that ruled, often above the rule of pashas themselves resulting in a violent regime. For 400 years the famous "Ottoman peace" was nothing short of rebelions and massacres. People would react to local militia violence with a rebelion, they would win over them, then Ottomans would bring in more army from elsewhere, infest the place with their superior numbers, do a big massacre and push the survivors down (actually up the mountains). Only in the case of Greeks, throughout the 400 years of Ottoman rule there are recorded 35 rebellions and revolutions 4 of which were of a really large scale (one of the last was the 1821 revolution that was a follow up of the 1770 one).

    Imperial systems tend (not necessarily) to foster scientific development. National systems tend to do the same too. But feudalism is the system that inherently hinders scientific development. And it is exactly for that reason that Ottomans did not make any break neither in science nor in world exploration. Dutch from little Holland were circumnavigating half the world and reaching to colonise muslim Indonesia while Ottomans rarely fared outside the Persian Guld. That says it all. Why was that? If they were a real Empire in all its sense they would try and participate in the global evolution. However, under their feudal system, there was no interest in doing so, all it mattered was to rule over the lands they got.

    In a vague extension today we live partially the same. Financial feudalism means that the worlds' economies are ruled by a small class of bankers that dictates the way societies are developed even in relation to their technical progress. We lost so much opportunity. Why did we spend so much scientific effort on the wrong direction? Cos there is some short of feudal financial system ruling us. Feudalism most often ends up in that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 306. At 3:45pm on 01 Apr 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    Chris Camp @297
    I think I overdid the irony and sarcasm in my post #254, as it made you write the following:
    ‘By the way, you said at some other point that the Ottomans never contributed any of their culture to Bulgaria, yet Bulgaria is studded with Ottoman architecture. How do you explain that?’

    What I was trying to point out is that there are no ottoman buildings in Bulgaria. Trust me on that. The town where I was born used to have predominantly Turkish population before the Bulgarian Liberation. The only ottoman building in it is a mosque. In the towns nearby- not even that. And we must remember that this town was the local political and administrative centre. In the whole of Bulgaria there was not a single university, library or theatre build by the ottomans. The Bulgarians had to struggle for years to be allowed to establish proper schools and the so called reading houses, the equivalent of libraries. All sponsored by the population; none by the ruling ottomans. As to the first theatres- these were established again in the ‘reading-houses’, showing a tearful drama- ‘The Long-suffering Genevieve’. And all of this happened in the 19th century. From 14th to 19th century. That is how long it took us to recover after the conquest of the ‘glorious’ ottomans.

    Regardless of any scientific advances the ottomans might have come up with, the people they ruled never saw any culture or science. What they saw was backwardness and cultural and scientific desert.

    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 5:34pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    O! Remembered one Turkish thing more.
    "ottomanka" - a puffet, to sit on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 308. At 5:36pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    No. a tuffet. little miss muffet, sat etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 309. At 8:20pm on 01 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    WebAlice... I prefer sutzuk lukum...

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 10:12pm on 01 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    +100

    :o))))

    It took me a while, to figure out what you mean.
    Thrace lukum, aha.

    By the way we write into "Turkish things" rahat lukum. the fruitty cubes in sugar powder. clarification for un-sweet teeth here :o))))

    Then the well known to me rahat lukum :o)) proved to be in Persian, and Nik the Thrace lukum does not look like normal "lukum" I would complain :o))) you put very tricky notes :o)))))

    But the moment I began to read the recepie for Thrace lukum "grape juice walnuts beaded onto a thread - I understood we are talking those , I would say, sausages :o))))) by look, that I got used to consume as Armenian or Georgian and here you Thrace lukum goes as "churchhella" sausages, the sweets.

    Do we talk that boa-constrictor I would say, who has over-eaten walnuts stuck in his belly -' looking sweet? Transparanet or not so very much reddish-brownish solidified grape juice with wallnuts inside?

    Awful tasty, as I said "+100" !
    Forgot the Armenian name, the Georgian is that "church-hella" :o))))
    The Russian does not exist for absence of grape vine :o)))
    And walnut :o)))))

    Nik, it's in English the walnut is walnut in Russian it is far simpler - Gretsky orekh" / Greek nuts.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 11:59pm on 01 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    I could not imagine a Russian would know sutzuk lukum, soutzouk loukoum or ... as we write it in Greek. Did you image-goggled it? Hehe! Yes it looks like human waste. But it is sweet and it is very nice. It amazes me you call it Thrace loukoum cos indeed it is the muslims of Thrace that make it.

    And I did not understand the gretsky orekh... indeed we have walnuts in Greece but I thought Russia which is eeehhhh... a bit bigger than Greece (just a bit...eh?), would have plenty of them. The only plants that are indeed Greek are olive and vine tree (ancient domesticated varieties date at 8,000 B.C. i.e. 10,000 years back) but of course it could be even more if Chris lets me do this hypothesis of course cos he does not like me speaking about history so I guess pre-history is out of question! Haha!

    What is the churchella? Don't tell me that it is sweet?

    http://foto.lib.ru/img/w/wishnewec_j_l/alb_0170/churchhella2.jpg

    (I love the Lada behind! My father had a Peugeot 206 (I mean the old one, 1960s one). It reminds me of my childhood when leftwing people in Greece drove these things to make a point... haha! I never liked leftish people (gauche caviar) but I liked the car, easy to buy, easy to repair, people went on these forever and could keep them more but in the 90s you had these scrape-schemes to make people consume more... EU you see... ).

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 00:16am on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, I am silly. Rahat lukum Turkish Delight is sweet of course, but the main thing - "janychar" or "yanychar" - Turkish soldiers!

    And their long knife "jatagan" or "yatagan" don't know how it is in English.
    Yanuchar soldiers is Turkish invention 100%, the French Legion, how to say, from boy foreigners. And their famous knives, curved forward and backward in one blade, like extended letter S how to say. Plus the funny handle.

    I would say, all together we have a picture.

    There sits a "januchar" on his "ottomanka" or may be in fact half-lies. on one elbow.

    Behind him, on the wall, is granted his "Turkish carpet".

    The "yatagan" knife is clipped onto the carpet :o)))))
    Well. Hardly. OK, say, the "yatagan" is on his left hip always.

    Eats, naturally, rahat-lukum, his Turkish Delight :o)
    Enjoys the "weeping fountain" trundle trundle.

    Harem is resting somewhere, I'm not sure it's Turkish word :o), besides -what harems? For yanuchars?

    Drinks?
    ?
    ?
    Ah, silly me. Coffee-a-la Turkey, of course. Moves thoughtfully the ? I know only in Russian "dzezve" coffee-pot in the hot sand.

    On hid head is a "turban", "tourbane"? no idea in English, and he wears a Russian "kaftan" which isn't Russian at all but Asian turks. I think.
    Except that a "tourbane" is not for yanuchars. I think. But who knows. May be for yanuchar head of the guardia something.
    We can't have him go around naked! :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 00:40am on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    To cut things short I looked up "Turkisms in Russian language".
    Gives quite an idea when we communicated when not.

    Pre-everything. Ancient slav. We clearly didn't have much in common back then yet. There are only 3 words. A ? male sheep, a fool, and
    the word "tovarisch" :o)))))))

    Not the whole, the Turk root "tovar"/goods for trade, while Russian "tovarisch" was made from it and initially meant a good company, another merchant, accompanying you during a dangerous import-export expedition. :o)

    One can imagine how someone sells another a sheep as goods and someone calls the other one a fool at that :o))))

    Happier news is the word "book" - from China - into turks - into Russia.

    Pre-mongolian period (before the orde/horde).

    There we got somewhat friendlier.
    A persian word for "dog" was imported via turks.
    Pearls.
    Male horse.
    Big out-door tent.
    A "strongman".
    And the very word "boyar"!

    Golden Horde/orde?
    - the very word horde/orde - the big, how to say, army of uncountable invaders
    - tax
    - ? "state money in one big trunk full of coins" :o) I would say :o))))
    - one big coin heavy-weight huge
    - water-melon
    - Kabal (repressions when you are under captivity)
    - The Customs !!!!!
    - profit (they do look like awful business people to me - "money", "budget", "profit", "tax", the base for future "Customs" - that's where all the troubles began!

    Of useful things we've got "a stocking" and the "kaftan" coat.









    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 01:11am on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Also, "an ear-ring", "a diamond", colour "scarlet", "brown eyes", a round target for shooting at, the words "master and owner" (aj jai iaj),
    four types of cloth, an alcoholic drink "booze" ! :o))))) I think it stuck in English better :o)))), "tin" as definitely a new material, the word "brick" - definitely a new material (that was definitely neglected to be used in the following centuries flat :o), the word "kulak" !
    "a fist". How did we go without it before?
    - cockroach :o)))))
    - prizon :o)))))

    and that word, what is it in English? that small fellow whose day is celebrated in the US to find when Spring comes.

    In other words, before the Golden Horde times Russia lived brilliantly. Without diamonds, but without money, budgets, taxes and Customs' and any idiotic profits either! No prizons and cock-roaches :o))))) , no bricks and only "tovarisch" was ours already.

    16-18 centuries Ottoman and post-Ottoman influence. There it gets rich as we "communicated" hell of a lot.

    Ware-house
    An ? African African
    A drum
    Frills on the table-cloth and a frame on its perimeter
    Leg-chains (thank you very much)
    A wide belt
    noodles
    Mosque
    An executor
    A type of a pack to carry on the back
    A type of a tourban(e) , rolled on the head
    Interpretor
    Three tints for brown horses :o))))
    Felt cloth pressed wool
    shashlyk, say, barbeque
    "toe-loop" :o))) that kind of Russian short fur fur-coat , fur inside, sheep. white outside short men's coat.
    a shed, a sword, a trap, a caravan and a balagan, an iron to iron things (O! a useful thing), oil (!), share in the company :o)))), pilav, defect in goods, an aubergine, long baggy pantaloons, a hypocrite! (:o)))) , porcelain, an ? "all upside down an awful mess" :o)))), A PENCIL.

    At least, a pencil. So many wars and all for nothing :o)))))

    19 century

    Contacts definitely down back again.

    "let's go"
    "you are silly head" :o)))
    small sour fruit of two kinds
    two types of head-wear (type Sov. fieldmarshals 2ndWW and Brezhnev, high small curls fur hats) and a small Asian flat round "tablet"
    - a bed without sides at all.
    - divan, jasmine, tulip, karakul (type of fur. for fieldmarshal's hats)

    That's it.
    Interesting.

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 08:56am on 02 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Actually, Nik, CC, Web Alice,

    Tonight, I read your posts...though worried about Israel and it's insanely effectively disastrously grotesque Netanyahooooo was doing NOW to ruin anything and everything..I DO feel sad for victims Palestinian
    AND Russian and Turkish,

    But, ALL of your (all 3) of all posts were so well written that I spent 1 and 1/2 hours here reading... instead of reading a very well written book I want to start reading.

    So, instead of reflecting on my lack of discussion, please reflect that your posts were so Extremely interesting for me that I lost track of time and I am only now picking up my book by Greg Keyes--a good author, IMO:)

    This was after arriving home tired but happy to be home from my job--its my job, my problem, that it wants ME SO madly lol:)

    So, actually, thank you all for doing splendidly in informing me on ..many, many things.

    Sleeping IS overrated ...it IS true:)

    love, David

    "Not drowning, just waving"

    Complain about this comment

  • 316. At 11:45am on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, did "not drowning, just waving" include extraction of a lower "wisdom tooth" don't know how it is in English, number 8 if you count :o)))) either leftwards or right?-wards?, from the centre and towards the ? say ear? As I remember you are into teeth business now.

    Report immediately on impressions I've got to do it and I was tolds it's another mightier kind of anaesthesia compared to dealing with upper No 8 , they freeze off :o)))) whole skull and ears :o))))) by a nerve route, which makes whole? everything frozen, where you breathe, there, in the back and I am curious because of astma if gets swollen there as min a 1/2 of it - how to breathe?

    __________________________

    Nik, "church-hella", rahat lukum, etc :o))))

    A good quality empire :o))))), you know, :o))))) is a capital thing.
    You get to know many things, hanging around for centuries together.
    I liked the picture you posted :o)))), Lada and church-hella sweets, definitely Georgia. Lada-s everywhere, but those sweets hanging on a rope - that's Georgie variety, Armenian lighter in colour, nearly white.

    Armenians have their earth, their reddish like colour brick soil, which they toss into the mixture, during the juice purification process, wanting to settle down ? sift? some juice? enzymes? components? take them away? to deprive the chuch-hella of some active ingredients that make it zingy and sour and make it being spoiled quicker in keeping and making stocks. The red-brown ones on the photo are definitely un-purified.
    Armenian are not so dry, in the result, not so rubber-tasting, easier to chew. Armenian are capital, in short. Besides - :o))))) - politically correct! (in Russian view :o))))))

    David of course should go for Georgian ones :o))))), according to the allegiance :o))))))
    Dave, when you see two church-hella-s in future, we all hope you are able to identify your PC one candy :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 317. At 12:46pm on 02 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re315: Yes David, the discussion with Chris was heated. We might exchanged hard critics on each other but that does not mean we (speaking first for myself) will keep it a vendetta or something. Here we disagree, on another issue we might agree...

    My perception is that there are a lot of misconceptions about Ottomans and Turks in general and I meaning even in the most basic of historic details:

    1st error:
    1071, battle of Matzikert - they say it was a Seljuk victory but actually Seljuks had lost the battle and fled abandoning the fortress of Matzikert. The only thing that happened is when night fell, a member of the Doukes family (allied to Comnenoi family) betrayed Emperor Romanos and let him and some 3,000 men easy pray to the Seljuk army that was majorly cavalry so when Seljuks saw this small detachment, they encircled it and captured the Emperor. However in the following days the Byzantine army (till then unaware of the fate of the Emperor) went on to bash out all Seljuks from the borders. Seljuks returned to Minor Asia only 17 years after i.e. 7 years after the 10 years civil war that folowed the battle. Bitter reality is that Alexios Comnenos and the aristocrats he represented wanted it that way.

    2nd error:
    1174, Battle of Myriokefalon - they say it was a Seljuk victory albeit things are unclear. In fact the Emperor Emmanuel Comnenos finally decided to attack Seljuks to control them, he gathered a sizeable (but relatively) army and took siege machines to siege their main fortresses. The battle of Matzikert itself was indicisive and many men from both sides died with Turks trying with waves after waves of attacks to stop the Byzantines. Turks' greatest success however was to make a circle with their cavalry and reach the Byzantine machinery that was badly guarded and sabotaged it, thus effectively protecting their fortresses. The next day Emmanuel decided to call it a failure and returned in Constantinople.
    However, rumours decided to spread, then 2 days after the battle Seljuks revisited the battlefield and cut the scalps and the genitals of all dead soldiers. What had happened? As usual, after the battle, scavengers scanned all the battlefield and robbed dead men of their weapons and clothes. These people had been amazed at how many Seljuks had died and how few Byzantines. We can imagine that the analogy to impress so much and alarm Seljuk chiefs must had been more than 1 in 5. Hence, rumours spread that Seljuks had lost the battle terribly, so the sultan anxious to declare the battle a victory ordered to hide the identity of the dead to prevent more people visiting the field. Weird thing is that they cut only the scalp (to hide the different hairstyle) and the genitals (to hide the circumcision) so we deduct that even so early on the bulk of the Seljuk army were islamised local central Minor Asians. Victory or not, after that battle, Seljuks never managed to do anything else - however it was noticeable that the Comneni were not so anxious to kick them out - in fact the Empire was immensely rich, they could prepare a 2nd campaign and clear them for good. However one has to understand what were really the Comneni to then understand why they did not want the Seljuks out of central Minor Asia...

    3rd error:
    Ottomans conquered in 1453 the Byzantine Empire. Well, not only the Byzantine Empire did not exist for 249 years already but the Crusaders had made sure to loot and burn every single city in the conquered territories. On top, the 3 successor Greek despotates, managed to do more wars between them, then more wars with Latin states than with the Ottomans weakening the resistance of the areas even more. However what is so funny is that Ottomans started becoming an Empire only when they set foot in Europe, and in Europe they did not come as conquerors but as mercenaries to the Byzantine despotates in their fight against the Serbian expansion, all that in the late 14th century. And it was decades after that the Ottoman (or other Turkish - often simply islamified Minor Asians) chiefs decided to settle down as feudal lords in exactly the same way that Latin catholics had done during the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire. In fact these Ottoman feuds were independent and would have the fate of Seljuk states, i.e. prosper 1 generation, then fall into wars if the Ottoman sultans did not call in to re-unite all the disparate muslim forces in the area under a single banner. To do so, Ottomans downplayed on their "turkish" affinity and overplayed their affinity with the locals for the simple reason that the number of 1st generation of muslims was larger than the number of original muslims of (at least partial) turkish ancestry, not to forget too that Sultans distrusted the original Turks as unreliable trusting more the locally based janissaries formed out of a horrible totalitarian regime applied on christians according to which each family had to give 1 boy for the Sultan's army. Anyway, up to 1420, still most of "Ottoman conquest in Europe" were nothing more than local chieftains ruling, or pretending to rule, over their newly won feuds. It was only after the call of Sultan Mohamed that they all united under the banner of the Ottomans.

    The above also explains also how the Ottomans were since the beginning a feudal structure - and as such they continued. There is no doubt that various sultans and Mohamed first of all resented this feudal structure. Mohamed's vision was to make a "Chalifate of Rums", i.e. the re-establishement of the "Roman Empire" (i.e. Byzantine Empire) but with muslim religion as the main religion instead of christianism - to achieve so he had to so slowly, i.e. implicating christians in a step by step approach, not too slow cos he needed them, not too fast cos the danger of a reaction and the risk of losing to them was always there (thus 1st thing he did was to kill all christian aristocrats, possible threats to the throne at Constantinople). The Epirot despote, Georgios Kastriotis was a good example of what damage Byzantine aristocrats could still inflict. And it was these wars against Kastriotis that showed for the first time that the Ottoman system could never evolve in a truly Imperial system (speaking of the operating system) and that the co-operation of local pashas was needed if sustainability was the target - since in this feudal traditional Ottoman style, muslims had always the control while in a truly Imperial system, christians would soon take control of things again.

    Of course the above is a subject of long discussions and it depends on what angle one sees things. What is certain though is that the Ottoman expansion did not bring neither peace (as some say) nor stability (as some say). It has to be noted that for christians back the notion of Ottoman Empire did not exist, for them it was all about a passage of raiders and looters and like Latin looters they would be soon out too. Nobody expected them to last more than 100-200 years, the well known poem "Again, after some time, these lands will be ours, again" was the favourite motto in 15th century but nobody back then thought Ottomans would last so long. Afterall Ottomans had not even the capacity to conquerer Ionian islands, not even the Parga port in the mainland which were never conquered, Crete and parts of Peloponesus remained under Latin (and local Greek collaborators) authority till 17th century but still large parts remained independent. Mountainous Mani in Peloponesus remained largely autonomous if not independent even after Ottoman conquerst while large parts of mountainous Epirus and Macedonia were self governed. And these are the places that were continuously free, let alone other mountanous areas that were from times to times refusing to pay taxes, claiming independence. In fact in 400 years of Ottoman occupation, not less than 35 rebellions happened including 4 major ones out of which 2 were revolutions of international magnitude - the 1770 and its continuation, the 1821 one which is known wrongly as the "national revolution" since it led to the creation of the first Greek (puppet of course) state, as if the other onew were any less national (they were national too since it was not revolutions of say "orthodox christians" as only Greeks participated despite calling others to join: but no Bulgarian orthodox, no Albanian orthodox, no Serbian orthodox there...). Even the 1770 revolution can be seen as a quite late one, nontheless the Ottoman Empire would had been for long obliterrated if it was not for the British, French and Austrians trying to control things in the area preferring to have Ottomans rather than the Russians descending or (perhaps even worse for them) the revival of Greeks. Do not forget that we were still in 1750 not in 2000 and Greeks back then were still a large percentage of the greater area - and memories of the Byzantine Empire were still alive, so everything was possible. Had some short of the Byzantine Empire revived in the 1750-1770s (i.e. just prior to the industrial revolution, something which the maritime, merchant Greeks would follow very very closely) it is a huge question of how the area would ressemble today... My guess is that British would invest in Iranians to counter balance, in the same way US invested in Japan against China and Russia but that is another talk, of parallel histories. A favourite pastime. The main aim of westenr Europeans was to avoid having the East-West commerce passing by the Middle East as them were circumnavigating Africa to do so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 1:30pm on 02 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    WA, there are turkish words in Greek language, not so many in relation to the long history of cohabitation of the two languages, but there are; today mainly used as funnier alternatives to Greek words. Indeed

    For example:
    Ntoulapi = cupboard
    bouzee = cold
    thus you have the joke "How is fridge in turkish?" => Bouzntoulap!
    haivani = animal
    thus you have the joke "How is vet in turkish?" => Haivandoctor!
    (words pronounced with a fake imitation of turkish accent)

    Even 200 years after, there is always this notion in Greeks that the turkish language is ridiculous, a tool of the stupid and illiterate. I know Chris would say "Greek chauvinism" or that it was the result of 100 years back, educated Greeks scorning illiterate Greeks that used a lot of turkish words. However it is not true, since 1) illiterate Greeks of Maceodonia used a lot of Bulgarian words however no Greek considered ridiculous the Bulgarian language (in fact it sounds quite flasy) 2) Greeks of Minor Asia used a lot of turkish words but then these Greeks were of higher social status than Greeks of free Greece. So if Greeks consider the turkish language ridiculous it was because they associated with the illiterate "simple-minds" and barbaric Turkish not for any othe reason but because that is what they largely saw in them not for any other reason but beacause that was the sad reality.

    However, the truth is that the Turkish language is not that bad in itself, it is quite expressive and imaginative and actually it sounds nice. Especially when spoken by their women - funny to admit so but it is just like Americans love French women talking in French, Greek men love when Turkish women talk in Turkish. I remember a Greek actor who was invited in Turkey to participate in an ancient tragedy that would be presented in Turkish language mentioning "I would not had thought of it before - Turkish actors playing ancient tragedy, it sounds like a joke, but actually the turkish language sounded very nice and gave a particular dramatic tone to the play".

    What is very funny with the Greek language is that due to its structure it does not easily integrates foreign words. Greek words are inclined. Even names like mine (short and full versions):
    o Nikos / O Nikolaos
    tou Nikou / tou Nikolaou
    ton Niko / ton Nikolao
    Niko / Nikolae

    So when foreign words are used, they are used always in context for some specific (usually historic) reason. Ex. a Turkish pasha was a pasha, how can you call him in Greek? Dioikitis? Kapetanios? Otherwise they are bound to lose unless Greeks are illiterate or co-existing with others. The best example is the word "internet", we still use it but in the late years the greek word "diadiktyo" wins ground not because greeks are chauvinists, not because there is any "french academy" style cleaning the language, but because Greeks themselves react better to listening to the word "diadiktyo" or "diktyo" than "internet" and "net", of course these words co-exist still.
    It is simple, unlike other languages in Greek you say:

    to diadiktyo (the internet), tou diadiktyou (of the internet)
    to diktyo (the net) / ta diktya (the nets)

    while with internet we remain vague:
    to internet / tou internet
    to net / ta net

    Complain about this comment

  • 319. At 1:43pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, I don't know why walnuts here are Greek nuts. The only other option I found is "tsar nut", but nobody knows it, only wiki.

    I think it's either you lost an old trade with us and forgot about it :o), or an old sea route, ships delivering those to tsars, granted, excusively :o) from Greece, though may be collected elsewhere by arriving to us by water way. o

    O may be it has something to do with old myths, customs and habits, nymphs, kariatida's (those category of nymphs like trees supporting roofs of buildings) (like live columns :o), that the theme of these nuts was well developed in Greece mythology.
    That we borrowed, having no own those nuts, and, accordingly, fairy-tales connected with them :o)

    You are old acquaintance, before Russia was any "empire", and before it was any "empire" - which Armenia, Georgia, Crimea, Abkhasia and Moldova, Bessarabia with walnuts?
    First you defeat Turkey - then you get all of the above. Incl. their walnuts :o)

    I looked up old big Rus. encyclopaedia, 1890, it lists 6 types of Greek nuts in Southern Russia, but points out not all come out big and tasty, one frost and the tree skips the season, "areas overall not reliable for industrial production", "majority never grow up into full trees", "they dislike wet and heavy soil", "do best in river dales watered by current moving streams of water", Caucasian brands make good furniture, some brands good for jam making, all are good for iodine.

    I never saw it personally :o))))) but I am nearly 60th that? latitude? longitude? and the encyclopaedia says type "leave any hope to ever see a single nut on any year but the tree itself "if you are above Voronezh".

    Ang highly recommends Moldova as the nearest available industrial production place, "worldwide about 7-14% of land is fit for Greek nuts, while in Moldova 70% of the territory is Greek nut growth guaranteed."
    :o))))))

    And also interestingly says "a typical present in a Greek wedding as a symbol of ? multiplication and fertility, and symbol of wisdom, but also symbol of egoism as nothing grows under it. There is a type of nymph related to Greek nut, a female goddes of it, some researches say it's kariatida but others don't agree" :o))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 2:26pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, "what to do with Turkish Pasha", "the word is always used as it is", "it allows for no endings/inclinations".

    Huuuge problem :o)

    Here:

    (song of boasting parrot from "Alice in Wonderland" radio-play)
    ....? I was born in thousand-something year
    in banana-liana jungle
    My daddy was cacadou parrot,
    Back then yet - un-speaking parrot

    But soon he had left those virgin forests
    Captured by a horrible pirate - Kortez
    That pirate began screaming and shouting at my dad
    An daddy - to pirate - couldn't say NIL! He didn't yet know how to speak :o))))

    tra-la-la?
    la-la?

    .. A Turkish Pasha broke his sword down in half!
    On hearing how I greet him: Pavel! Salam!
    And simply a stroke broke down that Pasha :o))))
    When he also heard how I read and I write!
    I count, I dance and I sing!

    :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 2:37pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Actually it's not even "Pavel"/Paul
    It's short, intimate and familiarity :o) form for Pavel/Paul,
    exactly "pAsha, salam!", with the fall on the first syllable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 4:12pm on 02 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    I have a few last comments to make here, before this thread disappears into oblivion -

    a.) the correlation between decline and lack of research. Scientif research tends to be extremely expensive. The more advanced and refined the research, the higher the cost for scientifc research. If the invention of the wheel was cost effective and probably "free of charge" research in eugenics is a huge scientic effort that swallows millions upon millions of Euros.

    b.) the Greek civilisation of old (ancient times) "disappeared" in three different fractures in history. The first came when the Roman empire conquered Greece. During that time, Greek civilisation was still alive and fecund, but started declining when Christianty started spreading throughout the Roman empire. The new religion forbade many of the old customs of Greece and many philosophical writings were considered heresy in the East Roman Empire that was to become the Byzantine Empire. Because Greek Orthodoxy was intolerant to many parts of ancient Greek philosophy, myriad writings of ancient Greek thinkers were only saved thanks to them being stored in the Baghdad library. The knowledge of old was forgotten in Greece and Europe. The final blow came when the cruzaders sacked Constantinople, effectively ending what was left of Greek culture and the Ottomans took over, breathing new life into a culturally dead region. So there was no talk of "spaceships" or reappearing cultures. I was being sarcastic. Ancient Greece is dead. The new Greece is something new. To say there is an unfractured link between ancient Greece and today's Greece is just national myth building, quite akin to Italians saying they are the rightful inheritors of the ancient Romans.

    c.) there was explicit mention of "hellenic inventions" when it came to pistons, which are an Ottoman invention. It is disningenuous to say the least to just make vague allusions to Arabic writings based on hellenic writings to "disprove" the very solid evidence that pistons are an Ottoman invention. Moreover, it totally misses the point of what scientific research is. Perhaps the very first inventors, the ones who found out how to make fire, used rocks to crack open nuts and eggs, made spears to throw at animals, were totally original inventors. They lived some 200,000 years ago in Africa could be given the title of the first and only inventors of those things. Anything from then on was technology based on old technology. So even if the Ottoman invention of the piston is a technology based on Arab technology (which is quite possible) it is a further development. I have already given you the example of Benz, who invented the automobile. What he really invented was only the petrol-fuelled combustion engine inside the car. Everything else is ancient middle eastern (the wheel), Ottoman (the crank shaft, the piston), British (steel, electricity), and so forth... Nothing is a totally new invention, but every new step is a further step forward. The Ottoman invntion of the piston is no exception.

    d.) the origin of nationalism and nationhood. There was the claim that "without any nation, there could not have been any nationalism". Let's not get confused about about which one of the two was the egg and which one was the chicken. Kemal Ataturk, Bismarck and George Washington(and the other American founding fathers) "invented" nations that had never existed before - the Turkish Republic, Germany and America. It is possible to conceive of a nation, then instill a form of nationalism, which will then possibly give birth to a new nation. The collapse of the Ottoman empire made way for a number of nations that had never existed before.

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 4:23pm on 02 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik we have stayed with you here alone :o(
    Russo-Greek dialogue :o)))))) others are fed up with philosophy :o)))))))

    And the last of the :o)))) mohicans of course:o))))) David :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 6:01pm on 02 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Now that we speak about greek nuts, nut-cases and pashas it reminded me the real Greek nutcases, during the 1821 revolution - that gave some of the most epic moments of all Greek history:

    In 25 March 1821 the Greek revolution was officially declared in Peloponesus. People rebelled all over the Greek world from Crete to Macedonia and even in Greek-governed autonomous Romania (about 1 million Greeks lived at those times there). Places like Minor Asia or Cyprus that could not rebel had sent guerillas nontheless. Peloponesus was all in flames as it was the easiest place to rebel, but Turks had hidden themselves inside the castle of Tripoli where Greeks could not enter due to lack of canons.

    In late April 1821, the Turks decided to send from Epirus and Macedonia an army (mainly Albanians as usual) of 8,000 infantry 1,000 cavalry and several heavy artillery to push down the rebels and aid the besieged Turks of Tripoli. Their general was the Albanian chief Omer Vryonis, a weathered military chief who had fought in Europe, Asia and even Africa (in Egypt against Napoleon, one of the few Ottomans to distinguish himself) and who knew very well most Greek chiefs having fought together with them in the recent Ali Pasha of Ioannina rebellion against the Sultan.

    Problem is that there was none ot stop him at the beggining. The Greeks in Macedonia were easily controlled and suppressed and massacred (there happened the massacres of Veroia, Naoussa & Edessa etc.) and soon Emanuel Pappas the major chief there would lose in Chalkidiki. In Thessalia, a plein, Greeks could do nothing. Only in Roumeli (middle-Greece), well not far from the ancient Thermopyles (which could not be used anymore as they were not a narrow passage anymore), something could be done. But the forces of Greeks were few. 3 warchiefs, Athanasios Diakos (a former monk!) with his companions, Diovouniotis & Panourgias gathered each about 700 men, all of them not more than 1500 men (nothign strange as Greeks were used to fight vastly superior numbers of Ottomans) who stood to stop them. Diakos got the famous Alamana bridge (main passage), and Diovouniotis and Panourgias held the hills in the extremes. However Omer Vryonis smartly ordered 2 separate attacks against the two edges to clear off the danger posed by the two chiefs before attacking the guarded bridge. Greek men were overwhelmed by the superior numbers of Ottomans, Diovouniotis men fought well but stepped back under pressure, Panourgias' men did not even fight a long time before they retreated out of order, and they left Diakos on the bridge with about.... 50 men! Omer Vryonis feeling relaxed ,gathered the troops and ordered assault on foot - what Ottomans called "giourousi" i.e. a deliberately slightly out of order attack of shouting people saying islamic curses that was supposed to cause fear and panic on the christian opponents - the muslim equivalent of berserker Vickings. Diakos' men and himself fought defending the bridge, Diakos, a fearsome warrior remained one of the last, his sword famously broke, and himself and 5-6 other (wounded) fighters were caught alive. Omer Vryonis, a self-proclaimed man of honour, in the muslim style, he admired brave men (and admired Greek especially, having fought with them in the past). He proposed to Diakos to become a muslim and take a good position in the Ottoman army. Diakos (knowing what he response meant for him) responded:

    "I was born a Greek and a Greek I shall die"

    , a motto that in Greece is equally known as the "Come and take'em" of Leonidas. Omer Vryonis then executed him by impaling. Diakos is said to had said (or so the song says...):

    "Look at the time Charon chose to take me, now that branches are flowering, now that the earth sends forth grass".

    ...of course referring more to the Greek revolution than to spring itself. Irrelevant but note the "Charon" reference: in fact post-antiquity, medieval and post-medieval Greeks never became christians in the issue of death: in ALL their songs there is complete absence of "God", "Jesus", "Virgin Mary", no "paradise" and "hell", just Hades & Charon while the soul went downwards not upwards... anyway!

    So Omer Vryonis continued his descent this time more than sure that no other Greeks could resist him, confident that in 3-4 days he would reach Tripoli and release the Ottomans there from the siege the "infidels" placed upon them. While condident Omer was also a weathered tactician - at the last moment he did not chose to go through Attica and the Isthme but to move straight south and go to Galaxidi and force all local Greek fishermen to pass his army with their boats to nearby Peloponesus (note that back then, the Isthme was not opened so rebel ships could not pass in and attack him, thus his plan was quite smart).

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 6:01pm on 02 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:


    We are beggining of May, 1821 and a council of rebels is held in a road inn outside the village of Gravia - inn in turkish is "hani" so this was the "Gravias' Hani". They are there the loser duo, Dyovouniotis and Panourgias and along them the big chief, Oddyseas Androutsos a warchief from a traditional warchief family, who is without the bulk of his men. Androutsos spoke hard on the other two for having being cowards and let Athanasios Diakos alone in the bridge, but then urges them to ocntinue the fight otherwise the rebellion will die since people were already fearfull after the crash in Alamana bridge. Panourgias suggested they go to the Isthme and defend there which was logical but Androutsos knew well Omer Vryonis and he knew that he would chose the smart way of Galaxidi and try to pass by boats. So he told Dyovouniotis and Panourgias to get their men (about 1200 men altogether) and occupy two narrow passages in the south to close the road. He would stay there to see what he could do to delay the Turks. People thought of him as crazy but they would not believe.

    Now the bulk of the rebel army left, Oddyseas remained with little bit more than 100 men. His scouts returned and told him that the Turks were coming in the next day but their cavalry and canons was not to be seen, obviously had a day of delay. So Oddyseas tells them:
    "Ok guys, we stay here, we hold them here"
    "Where here? What do you mean"
    "I mean, they have not their canons yet, so we stay in this hotel and we defend it delaying them"
    "That is suicide, we are 100, they are nearly 10,000 thousands!!!"
    "It does not matter. If we fix the place correctly, we make plenty of bullets, we will be shooting them from inside and they will be dying in the 1000s... we do not need to be more than 100"
    "You are crazy"
    People naturally started leaving the room sincirely thinking Oddyseas was a lunatic that wanted to suicide while avenging,his bet friend's (Diakos) death
    "You are cowards. Leave you cowards. But I will stay here so that when the Turks come they will least find 1 real man among Greeks".
    Suddenly a 17 years old boy, Kostantis says:
    "You know chief, I like you, I will stay with you"
    then he turns to musicians:
    "... you guys, did you see that? Kostantis is the man! Its the two of us. Play a song for us to dance... and I won't permit anyone else to dance along with us. ONLY those who stay to fight dance now!"
    and the musicians started playing a song and Oddyseas with the young guy were dancing (...something like syrtaki style etc.)
    The others froze. He called them chickens, cowards, women all the names. Then he would stay there to die for the nation but also for his own personal pride, as a man and as a friend of Diakos. And then this 17 years old boy was more man than them? Suddenly one othe of them returns and enters the dance, then another and another... till .... ALL of them enterred the dance! 117 men and 1 Androutsos, 118 men!!!

    They had little time so what they did was to divide tha tasks, some were working in preparing the defenses and the... snipers' positions opening holes in the wall, some were making 1000s of bullets and others were preparing food (usually cutting slices of bread with cheese and other simple stuff and putting in water) that could be eaten during battle - as such battles could last all day. Next morning the army of Omer Vryonis was there. Omer could not believe his eyes that his old battle-mate Oddyseas was there with 118 to resist him, the great general with 8,000 men and others coming! He thinks "is he crazy or what this Oddyseas! I thought Diakos was crazy but he is a whole different level!". He sent men to shout to Oddyseas to come to talk in his tent, Oddyseas knew it would be a trap and refused. Then Omer thought it a good idea to sent a Bektashi imam to speak to Oddyseas. When Oddyseas was young he was initiated in the Bektashi sect (a weird muslim sect that hoewever accepted christians without conversion being necessary). The Bektashi came on his horse so Oddyseas comes out over the wall and shouts him jokingly:
    "Hey imam, where are you up to this morning on your horse?"
    but the imam was a proud man, not accepting jokes...
    "I am heading to the town of Salona, to cut heads of infidels"
    Oddyseas got enraged with that response...
    "you CXCXCXCX! you are going nowhere, you stay here"
    and shot him right in the head!

    Omer saw this from afar and shouted to his troops: General giorousi! Have them all slaughtered but I want this infidel Androutsos alive. His Albanians, about 1000 men, the frontline, started running towards the inn certain of their success... but when they reach the shooting distance suddenly they are met with a volley of fire of about 50 rifles, they continue and suddenly a second volley of fire of about 50 rifles. Untill they reached the wall they had eaten 6 volleys and scores of them were dead and other were seriously wounded. The men that managed to reach the walls were killed on spot either by pistols or by sword. At some point they got so afraid that they started running back.

    Mad Omer Vryonis orders a second attack, it is already noon... more than 2000 men encircle the inn on all directions trying to reach met with volleys of fire. They fire too but cannot easily kill anyone inside apart 1-2 random shots. Whoever managed to jump inside finds death by sword. Albanians, a stubborn troop, pressed continuous "giourousia" till Omer realised the number of dead and got in panic. He ordered his men to step back. They should wait the next morning for the canons to arrive!

    Oddyseas understood it so he turned to his men:
    "We fought well, but tomorrow he brings his canons. We did what we had to do, we delayed him, we taught him a lesosn, now let us escape"
    And that is what they did in the night. But they were encircled. How? Through the Turkish camp of course! a few men dispersed passing through the sleeping camp would not be difficult in the night if they managed to kill a guard or too. And that is what they did!!!! Now, Androutsos was the last one to leave (a real captain), so when some Albanians understood and hit the alarm he shouted at them (in Albanian), "Infidels!!! I saw them from there, chase them the XCXCXCXC and lead the Albanians in the wrong direction!!!!!! Albanians at some point understood they were fooled but Androutsos had already climbed a cliff, he shot 1-2 of them and told them:
    "Turks, take this lesson from Androutsos so that you remember him well".

    Next morning Omer Vryonis realised there were even more soldiers missing as several guards were strangled in the night!!!He did his countings and it was a shock. He decided to cancel his whole campaign to Peloponesus and rather go to "park" his army in its sorry state in the nearby island of Euvoia fearfull of coming rebel attacks!!!!!

    Battle of the "Gravia Inn" is certainly the battle with the largest ration of attack against defense ... something about 80/1!!!!!!! Yet... it was a victory of the 1/80..... here are the full numbers:

    Turks: 8,000 (+1500 cavalry + canons coming next day)
    Dead: 400
    Seriously wounded: 800
    ---------------------------
    Greeks: 118
    Dead: 6
    Seriously wounded: none
    ---------------------------
    Result: victory of Greeks


    Well that is why I never over-talked about Thermopyles... As I said: whenever Androutsos passes, Leonidas stands up...

    Anyone wants to talk about Thermopyles again?

    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 01:58am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, very interesting. I didn't know anything about it. I will remember two names, Afanasij Diakonos, wait, Athanasios Diakos and Oddyseas Androutsos.
    In Russian of course will be Afanasy Diak, or Diakon. Afanasy old name, Diak - a junior level church "assistant", Diakon - a big beard :o), I mean high in hierarchy. :o).

    Tell me and don't laugh :o) - why do you add all the "s".

    And is Oddyseas same as Odissey. (the traveller :o)

    Why Thermopyles, not simply Thermopily ? And what happened with the passage there, why it is "not anymore narrow"?

    8,000 and 118 is of course quite a ratio....
    Well, given that not all 8,000 jumped on them at once, but were approaching in portions, in waves, sent over by packs, it is easier and is possible.
    Extraordinary luck that they began to countt losses and decided to hold it over, delay further attack, for a night.

    The most incredible thing in my view is that they got alive out of it, managed to sneak out. That's not "luck" but I don't know what.
    Occasions in history when a few hold out against a ? say, tons, are not a little.
    The thing is that most of the time it does not end well :o(

    We have had so many battles here of all kinds of invaders and invading ourselves :o) - can't remember when a few versus a "tons" ended well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 02:02am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I am tinting and painting Easter eggs. Kind of delayed a bit, with the multi-colour production :o) Ought to have been done the day before yest :o), on Thursday.
    And tomorrow to be carried to a church to ? eh, sanction them? eh? make them baptised ? :o)))) anyway. I have a vague feeling I might be late with that as well....
    :o)

    Hvae done 5 red! 5 golden! 1 green (the other one got cracked :o))), and now into blues session :o)))))

    With golden foil! mind it! scratched up like? rubbed, on top later, to have golden sparks on the base colour. Mmmmm :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 02:28am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Come to think about it, we have had a similar case recently, it is called "Height 776". 10 years ago, Russian paratroopers in Chechnya :o(

    You tube is full of "Height 776" / "Vysota 776", all discuss, Chinese, Japanese, who only not.

    Many - what they were doing there :o), in the first place?
    Many, like, "what were doing - dear Motherland sent them. That's what they were doing!"

    There are heaps of videos, done post factum, naturally, films shot on the theme, and swarming discussions for years. In memory of the boys, and own trips of various interested journalists, and simply curious men, to find out the details, and check the landscape. Various adventurers, I'd say.

    The idea is we officially ended the war in Chechnya, forgot what number war, there was an announcement.

    And there is a strong idea that some high ranks in Russian Federal Troops commandment sold the passage out of Chechnya, into Dagestan, for the remaining eh, Chechen freedom-fighters. The army.
    For half a million dollars, a bribe someone got.

    Well, and those Russian paratroopers knew nil, about all these interesting developments. They were simply sitting on the "Height 776", and happened to be on the way of the Chechen army get out.

    Nobody cared to tell them, like, "we took a bribe, will you please step aside" :o))))
    Dear Motherland sold them down the river.
    And they held the Height.

    Moreover, when troops , sitting on nearby "Heights" number this and that, on hearing the news that they are holding out alone against an army (90 versus 2,000 in direct combat, how many were there behind more nobody countered) - they asked the commandment for the permission to run there and help! naturally. Hearing the great news. And were ordered "to sit still not to move! !!!!!!!

    Only one commander violated the order, well, they were all small units, his were 15 together with him, but they ran over joined the 776 Company, and this gave 2 more hours to the defenders. It's like a damn passage through the mountains, similar thing, all suddenly wanted that passage!

    Total disaster. 6 survived, in various conditions, that is, 4, they started away as 6, but didn't reach our units all of them.
    The rest were chopped into small pieces, as dear Central Commandment didn't care for 3 days even to go there! to collect their bodies!
    Allowed the Chechens to pick up their wounded, bury their dead, and get out peacefully quietly.

    Then they naturally didn't tell anybody, only the chaps were all from one city, and their relatives at home began wondering, how come all disappeared at once?

    So newspapers wrote, "yeah, all bad, 30 died". 30!

    Etc. The news un-rolled slowly, but thankfully it's Russia where all know everything anyway, and army neighbour units were talking how a whole Company was lost, and how the last ones called the fire onto themselves, when there were a dozen left, and all.

    Officially it was told "and when he phoned called fire on himself he said ? something heroic
    When in fact the ones who heard it later explained he said no nothing so interesting, but "You are goats, you sold us, b -s!"
    Anyway they held nearly 3 days, 90 against 2,000.

    And sold, down the river, nearly literally.

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 02:37am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Still, about 400-500 Chechens stayed there.
    And the calls, the phones, all that nightmare, other units warned the neighbour republic that an army is breaking towards them, and the Chechens were met on entry :o)))) There was time. And it didn't work out a sneaky retreat into peaceful neighbour villages, unaware of intersting new arrivals :o))))
    So not in vain but of course awful.

    90 against 2,000 - only because they were paratroopers, that banner, a parachute descending from the sky, and a blue background, their symbol. Ordinary soldiers of course wouldn't hold on an hour.
    But the Chechens retreating were also a choicy company, forgot the name of the leader, and the hospital on him, taken hostage, and what not. Quite a skilled "personnel", cut-throats each and every.

    I even read somewhere extract from an American book on it, "Last Hold? stand of Companny? something Company something taking Last Stand? can have a look. It's in the text-books :o)))) Some American was listing their mistakes :o( :o))))) naturally, that they didn't keep on the sides reconnaissance ? spying around? units, to check who is coming, and din't mine their positions around on the perimeter, and other useful advice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 03:06am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Official story of course nobody "sold them", a simple commandment mis-hap. But relatives, of course, disagree.
    Well, since they gained time, prevented bandit spill-over into the neighbour republic, and because they all died, like, what to do, they all became Hero of Russia (post-mortem) . well, not all, but a lot of them.
    all 13 officers, who were taking command formally from each other, one after another, one after another, and especially including that chap from the neighbour mountain peak and his 2 leutenants, who knew it is hopeless, but sent the order to stay where he is to hell.
    the ones who got out alive many didn't, like, understand, and suspected in many things. Though two were definitely sent out away by the last commander. But to one neighbour units all advised to take off his stars, those, small, clipped on the uniform. As after he told them the good news, someone checked his gun, and both barrels were clean, and full, he didn't shoot.

    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 08:23am on 03 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Web Alice and Nik, (and Chris Camp--good writer)

    Sorry, Nik, if I ever offend...you seem unoffendable... lol...but indegafatible (wrong spelling)...meaning nothing will ever make you give up or surrender to dispair....so lucky and of good nature..

    This weekend starting..it is finally healing well---

    one tooth crushed to bits, to get it out of my mouth. The doctor said no antibiotics because that does not help mouths....huh?

    Oh well, I took some of my saved antibiotics....dentists are the evil, money grubbing, physicians of this earth...false story probably...

    but you know, they over-book (25 patients in 3 hr shifts, truly done here), so they come in for 5 minutes and say oh its ok...you stupid man.:)

    I am now optimistic... but dread going for the whole BOTTOM teeth of my mouth being taken out...I have allergies!!! Maybe I should have tons of grapefruit juice ready for my recovery, WA:)

    Have nice weekends:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 08:33am on 03 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Also, Greek names are magical:)

    For example, how do you pronounce Lysatrata [sic] ...it has to be told to you then its easy. Maybe its the same with Russian???

    I had one Russian male friend--online--who TRIED teaching me some Russian, but he gave up lolol. It is copy/paste for me:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 333. At 11:56am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jesus Christ David what are they doing with you in the US!
    Hunting after all of your teeth at once!
    I am scared here for ages how to get rid of one tooth and survive. And we are boasting with Nik about local heroes of the past - while you are suffering currently! Dentists! Disaster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 11:58am on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik I thought about 2 stories and I think, how to say, that is the difference. And someone questioned here if Greece is Western Europeans!
    Surely you are - first symptom - your history ends well!

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 12:11pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David I think antibiotics do help everywhere. I mean, within the limits of your body. Plus, say :o))))) , half a metre :o))))) of your halo and ? aura? space around.

    :o)))))))

    As to Russian - you say all letters, one after another all that you see in a word. Nothing tricky, one plus one plus one. They all sound and all like in the alphabet. Very straightforward system.

    Then what you do you get lazy, remember it's relaxed slav approach :o)))) you don't say all the vowels correct but tend to say the one under stress as in the alphabet, and all the rest are kind of soft versions of their alphabet sounding.
    LeningrAd. RestorAn. (restaurant)
    MaskvA. (moscow). MAma (mum).
    DantIst. (dantist) ZarAza (plague) :o)))))
    DantIst - zarAza.

    Say the capital ones with stress, and the rest, like, elegantly indicate you know what they are :o)))))
    I think temporarily without some teeth you are excellently fit for Russian! :o)))))

    remember the slav way saves you lots of wrinkles on the face, as you don't get so chin up chin down hysterically articulating everything. It's should be all one mumble, excepting for stressed vowels. :o)))))

    Consonants simply neglect. What do you need them for? Russian is for singing songs. You don't need consonants how do you sing them? So, again, indicate you have basic understanding what it is in the alphabet.

    Your idea is to say one vowel per word :o))))), comes down to it :o))))) it seems :o)))))
    )Well if you say all by alphabet one big unrecognisable I don't know what :o))))

    You save your?
    s

    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 1:41pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Dave the last two lines of advice above are not directions, they simply stayed over :o)

    Though there isn't much difference. :o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 1:55pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    oj I taught you one Polish word. zarAza (plague).

    Any catching disease, actually. Initially it was plague, I think, which Poles remembered and then began calling all things they are un-happy about zarAza. Like, "damn it all! zarAza!"

    A very catchy word :o), you hear it often.

    Complain about this comment

  • 338. At 2:03pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, forgot to tell you how to recognise that only sound/vowel that is pronounced in a Russian word.

    It is not where it is in English, that is the main direction.
    If you are tempted to say LEningrad - say LeningrAd.
    If you want to say REstaurant - say RestorAn.

    I think it's the French way, at the end of the word somewhere. Instead of in the beginning, as in English. Take an English word, serve it French, you'll get Russian.

    Complain about this comment

  • 339. At 2:14pm on 03 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    :o)

    My cylinder hat (? that one? top hat? ) shining in the sun
    Having put on my best waist-coat
    Strolling the Summer Gardens (St. Pete. 1910)
    With Marusia I suddenly met. (got acquainted)

    We had affair for 4 years.
    On the fifth year I found another girl.
    Then once, in wet and windy weather,
    I ? caught a cold on my big lower tooth. :o)

    From this torturing pain
    All night I was dashing around and moaning
    By morning lost all the strength of will :o)
    Ran up to the dentist doc.

    The doc has grabbed me at once at the throat :o)))
    Tied my hands back :o))))
    4 - absolutely healthy teeth
    The doc pulled out without a tremble!

    In front of me lie my four teeth
    And I was sobbing like mad
    While woman-dentist was laughing!
    I recognised Marusia's voice :o(

    "I loved you deeply and profoundly!
    And you have betrayed me, xxxx!
    So now I have avenged you!
    Eh ? useless eh, xxx, and lowly eh ? chatter-box!

    Get out of my ? doctor office!
    Pick up your teeth and get them back!
    Wear them on a chain on your waist-coat together with watches :o))))
    And remember your lowly cheat!

    Shining with my "shylindar :o)) (cylinder top hat) in the "Shun"
    Having put on my besht :o)) waisht-coat :o)))
    Shtrolling the Shummer Gardens
    I met up a girl tra la la

    :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 340. At 11:45pm on 03 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    HEHE Good poem;)

    Complain about this comment

  • 341. At 11:50pm on 03 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    I suffered but now I have the last laugh...hahahaha.

    I'm alive and still breathing....I've decided to take out the middle teeth first on bottom ...leave incisors till last...

    I smile with my upper teeth...seee

    My jaw will look ok till I have my dentures...

    But, wallet will be empty and moaning...

    Is money earned for ....teeth???? How depressing, and unsurprising...my car is up to 93,000 miles....50,000 to go(???) ...I hope :)

    See, life is challenges and when u achieve something you go whew ...relief!!!!!!

    instead of wow look at me,

    then get ready....crouching tiger hehe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 342. At 00:57am on 04 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Hi WA and David and happy Easter!

    Well, first I have to say a bravo to David you got the idea (that I am not easily offended). Do not be ever fooled by my style, even if I disagree with you and call you a propagandist and a liar and you call me a propagandist and a liar, I will always run to back you up in the following discussion if I see you speak sense (according to me of course!), I never take it personally. If I agreed with all of you I would not even be here to discuss.

    Now on Greek heros, I do not know if there exist any other nation with such a long list of heros. Seriously, forget me being nationalistic and ful of pride, Greece is the land of the heros... as Churchil was saying "It is not that Greek men fight like heros but in reality heros are those men that fight like Greeks".

    But you want to know the reality? Why do we have so many heros?

    Sad reality is that we have so many traitors too. For every Leonidas we will have an Ephialtes. For every Marathon, Salamina and Plataies we will have a Cynos Cephalaes (treason of cavalry), a Pydna (treason of cavalry), a Matzikert (treason of cavalry) and a Myriokefalon (treason of cavalry, albeit this one is hypothetised, not proven out of the sources...)...

    Why the cavalry? Cavalry in Greece was rare, it was the thingie of the rich. No wonder...

    Your question about Greek names... hmmm it is easy to know the Greek accent modern as well as ancient.

    Ex. Thermopyles.

    It comes from the words
    thermos = hot
    pylee = gate
    i.e. hotgates, or gates of fire as some like to translate it (but wrongly)

    Ιn Greek the writing is (in capital and small letters):
    ΘΕΡΜΟΠΥΛΕΣ
    θερμοπύλες

    As you see in the small letters the sign over u: "ύ" indicated where you emphasise. You foreigners pronounce it more like:

    θερμόπυλες

    which is wrong of course, but we do not mind foreigners mispronouncing our words so much, Greeks in general understand our language is not something easy.

    Note that in the case of thermopyles, the ancient and the modern pronunciation are almost exact apart the fact that the "u" in ancient Greek was pronunced a bit like the french "u" while in modern Greek it is streamlined to an "ee" sound just like with "h".

    So to your question WA on Lysistrate:

    Λυσιστράτη

    This containes η, ι, υ which modern Greeks pronounce all like "ee" hence the sound is like

    Leeseestratee

    but in ancient dialects it was

    Luuseestrate-e in Attic
    Louseestrata in Dorian

    In fact the letter η i.e. "H/h" tended to become "ee" even in classical times and in many places in early Hellenistic times there was no difference between "i" and "h" both pronounced "ee" apart of course the words commencing by "h" where the "e-e" sound (like the "h" in english) remained for some time till late Roman times. The letter "u" remained like a french "u" till quite late, it was the last letter to take modern Greek accent as an "i" too, around the 11th A.D. century. B started to be pronounced as "V" by Roman times, same with "Γ" that took a sound like "W" in the english word "word" from the ancieng "G" sound like in the word "Grammar". So Greeks pronounce the word "Grammatiki" as a... Spanish or a Dutch would pronounce it... a but like wrammatiki. The Dutch "Graag" (that means with pleasure!), has a sound close to Greek Gamma.

    I can tell you tons of these things but I do not want to tell you all that in a thread called "Stop cooking the books!" Haha!

    Complain about this comment

  • 343. At 01:03am on 04 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    David, "perastika"! (means "pass quickly the (health) problems)...

    Yes teeth need our attention and yes they do need our money and I feel guilty when sometimes I forget to take care of them (I visit rarely the doctor cos I happened to have inherited relatively good teeth - that compensates for the bad hair haha!).

    If your car did about 150,000 km it is a good car. Keep it to pass the 200,000 and it has worthed all its money.

    My car is new, bought it 13 months ago, has already 39,000 km and did already the 2nd service and now suddenly right after the 2nd service engine sounds differently, I have checked again and again and it might be the oil (you know these diesels are tough engines but their sound changes with the slightest change), perhaps they put me re-processed oil or something, so I have to go empty it and put my own oil (and pay more on the top of their overly expensive service) and do that secretly cos I have 1 year more guarantee and if something arrives at my car they will say "ha! you gave your car elsewhere, we are not responsible". Well things like that happen so often on all sorts of levels...

    Complain about this comment

  • 344. At 01:24am on 04 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Warranties give people jobs...customer service hhhhhmmmmmm.


    "Sorry dont see anything wrong here, its must be your mind, your car is ok."

    Bulll..but hmmmm got to pay huh....

    Complain about this comment

  • 345. At 02:11am on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David I am very glad you are alive and you are a real hero by all standards (Nik, agree ASAP :o)

    If no 8 is still in your voracious plans, please keep me posted please.



    "Seriously, forget me being nationalistic and ful of pride, Greece is the land of the heros... as Churchil was saying "It is not that Greek men fight like heros but in reality heros are those men that fight like Greeks".
    Nik, you are a darling :o)))) A Greek darling :o)))), to be exact. We do miss you in Crimea, no one to tell long interesting stories.

    I heard about 100,000 Greek local naturals ran off away post Perestroyka - to Greece included, when we surrendered the place to Ukrainians, and they gave way to Crimean tatars, who re-appeared back from all over the USSR and drove Crimean Greeks off away their houses. Simply, burned up, threatened, and grabatised.

    Ukraine gave way to Crimean tatars because they thought the Crimean tatars wiill drive off away Crimean Russians :o))))
    Then Ukr. powers realised they can't contain the Crimean tatars, who drive off away everyone very effectively, Ukrainians include :o))))
    And that they are about to lose the island (semi-island but we call it "an island Crym") altogether :o))))

    That was time all ran around in USSR in Perestroyka, re-settling in old, pre-old, and pre-historic "natural" places, fixing Stalin re-location mode results. Whole nations ran around hobo style :o))) and ended up in strange places :o))))) According to own idea of understanding what is "their" place.

    To Crimean tatars as you understand it is impossible to explain that Greeks were in Crimea FAAAR FAAR in advance, before anyone heard of the word "tatar" at all :o)))))))

    They aren't tatars either. They are turks. Whole world calls them "Crimean tatars" but they are not those Mongolians.



    Complain about this comment

  • 346. At 02:17am on 04 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, when you write in capital letters I can read, and when in small letters I can't :o(

    I think our church uses your capital, or used somehow, either way I can read your capitals. We are generally skilled in trying to understand own Russian Orthodox church :o))))), what they say (when they don't translate themselves), and what they write. They do keep to something between Greek and church old slavonic. I've got an icon which my grandma had which her mum had - St. Nicolas holds a book with open pages on which something is written. I understand one half. :o)

    Thermopiles - simply FermopIly here, stress on i.
    Lysistrate - LisistrAt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 347. At 07:00am on 04 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    time to rise and shine.....

    midnite here though,

    Nik,

    I saw a movie which was set in a Greek enclave in Australia...Greek immigrant village in Sydney or Melbourne...

    I won't tell you the name of the movie, yet, but here is the gist (get ready for thinking)

    The movie was a Gay movie (if you want to classify it) but it was also a movie about being Greek which then transcended a big problem.....identity saving someone's mind, giving it the center and relief of being aware of oneself best attributes therefore reaffirming life.

    This gay man was rejected by his family....his identity often (secret) causing unconscious problems with his family and their view of him as defiantly different yet very comfortingly traditional.

    So, the younger members of his family loved him and tried to stay connected, but he couldn't reconcile his family's attitudes to homosexuality.

    This caused his own secret self revulsion leading him to treat other men badly when given opportunities for loving relationships. He would retreat rather than validate his feelings.

    Until it hits him he is an outlaw in Gay society and an outlaw in Greek society which he loves. (though in Australia)

    He ends up in drugs and prostitution (dabbling not immersing himself in it)---BUT

    His Greek identity at the end saves him from the abyss of self hatred. He practices his dancing and realizes he is Greek first, formostly.

    This results in his finding himself ok, and his dancing (just practicing) brings back his confidence in himself for another day of battle and near catastrophe.

    But, I thought you would appreciate the fact of HIS GREEK HERITAGE, not a hallucination but a vital, atavistic, subjectively true fact. Like the sun comes up and every morning.

    The world goes round and he IS Greek, and well that is all.





    Complain about this comment

  • 348. At 07:11am on 04 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Also, W-Alice,

    There are 2 Russian movies on video and they were critical hits and popular with American audiences.

    They are "Night Watch" and "Day Watch" Both are supposedly very good scary and intelligently mysterious movies.

    They ARE Horror mixed with Sci Fi if you want to classify them. I guess the perspecive of the viewer is "Off Center."

    If you go to Amazon.com or whichever version suits you, you can find them and they are popular as movies to even own, because I guess they are "instant classics."

    Are you aware of them and do you know anything about them? I want to see them soon...and I want to be prepared, since the reviews talk about subtitles being the better choice with Russian spoken in the movies.

    Maybe I should buy the Russian versions (download from Amazon) and enjoy them as meant originally meant to be seen. You know how translation can ruin an experience at the movies...missing nuances and stuff.

    Just wanted you to be aware of them and know that they exist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 349. At 3:23pm on 04 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re347: Hehe David, quite weird movie of a ... gay Greek immigrant in Australia hehe... minority inside a minority. Homosexuality in Greece was a taboo since antiquity. Ancient societies were too much into war to tolerate effeminate behaviour - and there is no such thing like male homosexuality without effeminate characteristics as some try to pretend. The ideas about them being free is of course 100% wrong, much of the references people spot are either ridiculous accusations for example when Demosthenis accuse Philip II as homosexual this is just ludicrous (the man was one of the biggest womanisers of his time - the perfect psy-slave, in Greece we say the psy drags whole ships, well Philip was the captain of the ship... I am so sorry for the language, in Greece we are a bit more open to that style). For Alexander these things about his perceived relationship with Hephestion were written first by non-Greeks 300 years after his death in the Roman Empire which frankly had a hate-love relationship with him, they loved Alexander as their prime Imperial example, they hated him and his heritage for the fear of Greeks wishing to "re-do" it. I can only remember, who was he?, a Roman historian claiming how Roman legions could beat easily Alexander's army - when Roman legions beat the less proficient (due to bad leadership) army of Philip V and Perseas in the 2nd century B.C. only after treason of cavalry in both cases... (they could not beat them otherwise). Anyway, the the attitudes for Greeks towards homosexuals were "We do not want to know, we will not enter in anyone's bedroom" - but an openly effeminate behaviour was of course badly seen and seen also as a sign of a treacherous man - Greek society was never empty of such nasty presumptions.

    What has this film has got right however is what you say about Greeks feeling their heritage not as hallucination of an ancient glorious past but as subjectively true fact.

    Today, people can easily say that "Look, after your revolution you constructed your myth just like anyone else".

    But Greeks did not construct any myth. You have to read what the chiefs of the revolution like Kolokotronis and of course Makrigiannis had said about what is to be Greek. And today Greeks do not say anything else that we are children of Kolokotronis and Makrigiannis who were children of Palaiologoi and Basil II, who were children of Roman Greeks (last Emperor of Constantinople, Palaiologos was saying that "We Romioi (i.e. Roman citizens) are descendants of Greeks and Romans"), who were descendants of hellenistic and classical Greeks, who were descendants of archaic and Myceneaean Greeks. You have to follow the line. What foreigners do wrong about us is that they do not follow the line of our ancestros and speak only about us today and .... Pericles and Leonidas. But they never cared to know about Basil II. They care to know about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle but they never cared to know about Leon, Photios or Plinthon (Byzantine philosophers - the last one is the one that brought Plato to Italy of 14th century and is hypothetised to be actually the one-man-iniator of the whole Renaissance in Italy!!!).

    But Greeks do not say all that to say "how good we are", though we admit being over-proud. We do not consider ourselfs better or worse than any other nation and that is one thing that our direct neighbours Turks, Bulgarians and Albanians get wrong and there they suffer complexes of inferiority (but they are not the only...). We do consider that the heritage of our civilisation is for all the world not something of our for us. If an Albanian, a Bulgarian, a Turk, an Italian, a French, a German, a Russian, an American, an Egyptian and an Ethiopian comes to us and tell us "I am Greek too" this is something we 100% understand. Of course not in the sense of ancestry but in the sense of spiritual ancestry that can be more important. However, you have always to keep in mind that us Greeks believe, and not just suggest, we are certain of our lineage to our forefathers, not just "ancient Greeks" (a stupid title given to Greeks of 5th century B.C., mainly Athenians... ridiculous), but much much much prior to that, prior to even Myceanaeans. For even if we dig 8,000 neolithic villages we find ourselfs there, it is full of olives, wine and nice thingies showing people back then loved to have good time just like us. When we read Homer and the Iliad and Oddysey, we read about ourselfs, we recognise the heros. We we read about Nordic or Mesopotamian mythology, we love it, but we do not recognise the heros as ours. When we read Heliad and the fight between Agamemnon and Achilles, it is all too Greek to us to had been someone else, hehehe!!!

    If you ever had any interest on the subject of who are modern Greeks, I suggest you find the book of Giannis Makrigiannis "Memoirs of Makrigiannis". It is a rare book written around the mid-1800s but refers to the Greek revolution of 1821. A diamond not only of Greek but of world literature. Why? Because you have the perspective not of any rich educated Greek who came from western Europe or Russia to participate in the greek revolution of 1821, not of any British, French or German tourist/philellene but the perspective of the simple people.

    Makrigiannis was a man that was born in a poor family in Doris just south of Thessalia). His father was killed in a battle fighting against the forces of Ali Pasha, his family fled to Livadia. He grew up and left to Arta where he worked in a business company where he distinguished himself being an intelligent man, yet he never went to school. Prior to 1821 he - from what it seems - joined the Philiki Etairia (Friendly Company), the secret organisation of the revolutionaries and he participated actively i the Greek revolution where he distinguished himself in several battles. After the liberation of Peloponesus and a small part of mainland, he decided to learn the basis of reading and writing to write his memoirs. As he says "Other people stick to cafes, and wasting their time talking, I decided to learn a bit of writing so that I can pass over what I saw with my eyes during these dramatic events". He wrote his papers and when he died in 1864 (at the age of 67 years), his papers were left in his house, which was bought by a rich family - as a historic house of the ex governor of the vicinity of Athens. Makrigiannis by then had been partly forgotten as a rather minor figure of the revolution in comparison to Kolokotronis, Androutsos, Ypsilantis etc. Then about 1905 a writer, Vlahogiannis visited (or bought if I remember well...) the old house interested in it and he found in a box the old papers. He instantly realised the treasure, it was the memoirs of chieftain Makrigiannis. He read it, then sat down and copied all the text and were all lucky that this happened then as soon the papers would had been very difficult to be read - one has to take into account that the writings were of a man that learnt writing in an older age and who became literate only to write his memories of the war so it was anyway difficult to read in terms of letters!

    However, the book is a treasure not only for all the historic details that Makrigiannis passes to us but also being a prime example of the Greek demotic language as this was spoken by the illiterate Greeks of the time. And funnily it is just not only that, in fact the almost illiterate Makrigianis manages not only to just write well but to write fantastically well, so well that most well known writers, internationally acclaimed writers like Seferis and Kazantakis admire Makrigiannis as one of the 2 best modern Greek writers along with Papadiamantis.

    If you ever had the interest I highly recommend it (though I frankly have no idea what it will give in its translation!).

    Complain about this comment

  • 350. At 4:14pm on 04 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    I cannot remember any Turkish person who had an inferiority complex with regards to Greece. Turkey is stronger than Greece, economically and militarily and its culutural appeal to the world is much greater.

    It maybe true that non-Greeks are unaware of many of the Byzantine rulers, thinkers and artists of the region. But that does not in any way prove that Greece is a nation that existed before 1821. The link to the Byzantine Empire is, just as the link to ancient Greece, a myth. What modern Greek nationalists often seek to do is to ethnically cleanse all elements from their history and culture they consider a blemish of their squeaky clean Greek culture - any Ottoman influence in their culture must be denied and mitigated as much as possible. Nations that are reasonably healthy do not deny the positive influences other cultures have had on them. Today, no German (bar right-wing extremists) would deny the positive influence anglo-saxon and French culture has had on their culture. No sane German would deny that Jewish thinking helped transform Germany into a nation of philosophers and invenors for 300 years. Same goes for the British people. No sane British person would deny the vast contributions immigrants have been making and keep making to British culture.

    The bizarre thing is that modern Greek culture is effectively Ottoman culture, with a generous helping of American imports in the age of globalisation. There is no such thing as an aboriginal Greek identity or civilisation. The region has been visited by so many different ethnicities and civilisations that it is impossible to divorce all those Bulgarians, Romanians, Romans, Ottomans, Syrians, Albanians, Jews and other inhabitants from "Greek" culture.

    Complain about this comment

  • 351. At 04:07am on 05 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    He who has the last laugh is he who survives longest....but still retirement does await us all, Nik,

    No matter what age one retires...

    By the way, *stereotypes* are not "given as valid" (truth) no matter Whom makes them up.

    What age are you, Nik, you seem so young and energetic?

    Complain about this comment

  • 352. At 11:48am on 05 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re351: There is a video of a talk between a Greek European parliamentary and a Slavo-FYROMian journalist who tried to ask 1-2 questions (and failed of course) and then she brought out the card of "Greek crisis" and the Greek guy answered nicely: "You mention one crisis but our case here is not talking about economies. Economies today are bad tomorrow are good, but that is not our question in our inbetween issue. Continuity is the issue. We are here for more than 5000 years and it is not any accident. A nation so old has passed its high and its low points but at the end it is all a question of continuity". The poor journalist retracted herself and tried to change subject.

    Re350: Chris... yes Turks have complexes of inferiority and partly their violence is down to that. They cannot be proud of having built any city anything in their country. Reading their history they read only about having conquered their city. One of their main national celebrations is for example gaving looted a city they had as a capital for 500-years and most important city. If that does not give birth to complexes of inferiority then what?

    You say: "The region has been visited by so many different ethnicities and civilisations that it is impossible to divorce all those Bulgarians, Romanians, Romans, Ottomans, Syrians, Albanians, Jews and other inhabitants from "Greek" culture."

    You insist on an as-if argumentation that you have already lost.

    So Greeks resemble all these people? Why on earth then NONE of these people can relate himself to Greeks? And why the closest people that Greeks can relate to them and them can relate to Greeks are South Italians (of the region around Naples?).Did Ottomans, Albanians, Syrians and Romanians passed from there too?

    And how on earth all these people from Crete, Peloponesus, Thessalia, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, Ionia, Pontus, Cyprus which are lands that are not even connected between themselves suddenly decided in 1821 to make a nation "lets-call-it-Greeks". And why Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbians and Romanians refused to enter it?

    What I see is that you take for idiots all these people, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Romanians, Serbians etc., not to mention that your view is absolutely racist. What you happen to show is yet the opinion of someone that suffers from complexes of inferiority towards Greeks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 353. At 2:32pm on 05 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    As a rhetorical device, the repeated re-iteration of the other side allegedly "having lost" the argument is unconvincing, particularly if and when no arguments aside from anecdotal evidence of crumbling pieces of parchments and personal perceptions plus tireless accusations of "racism" have been presented by those who claim to have "won" the argument.

    The non-certifiable view that Greeks "can" relate to Napolitans more than to other nationalities does not do anything in the way of presenting convincing evidence, either. If I were a nationalist in a nation trying to mystify its heritage and cleansing undesirable ethnicities out of its history, I would do the same. Suppose I wanted to say that Brummies have nothing in common with the rest of England and the closest relatives of the people of Birmingham live in some remote fishing village in Chile.

    How would one go about verifying that? How would one go about falsifying that? Both endeavours would be futile. The allegation is nothing but conjecture and nonsense. There is nothing to suggest that Greeks have a stronger cultural link to Naples than to any Turkish town. In fact, plenty of evidence speaks for many Turkish-Greek cultural commonalities. Of course, that does not sit well with those who would seek to distance themselves from the nation they hate and would wish to look down on it out of sheer jingoism, arrogance and hatred.
    -
    Why did Bulgaria not become Greece, too? Well, three factors come into play here - location, language, time. It was a different geographical part of the Ottoman Empire, the majority spoke a different language and the country was carved out of the Ottoman Empire at a different time. Same goes for Albania, Macedonia (a particularly young nation, even in that region), Serbia, and all the other ex-Ottoman provinces.

    That tireless repetition of an alleged inferiority complex is getting pretty stale, too. Why an "inferiority complex" of all things? I can imagine some people, in aprticular nationalists, harbouring a grudge born from an inferitority complex toward a strong, culturally attractive nation like the U.S., France, Britain or Spain. But Greece is just barely keeping afloat. What's there to be jealous of? An inferiority complex woul require at least a little straw to cling to - some justification for the envy. In the case of Greece, there is nothing that I can think of. Perhaps someone can point me in the right direction.

    Complain about this comment

  • 354. At 3:32pm on 05 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And I think Turkey is our same old neighbour turks.
    Who went too far into Europe and stuck :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 355. At 5:18pm on 05 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris I will be repeating that this is an issue that you have for long lost so leave it, it does not do any good to you. You hate Greeks because they exist. Let it be that way, I have no problem with you having such complexes.

    You are so funny such as calling the link that Greeks have with South Italians (a link that is accepted not only by ALL sociology, anthropology and biology researchers but also by people themselves!) as allegation but you are so happy to call links between Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Turks (a link that has been only described as minor or on most cases non existing by researchers and which is only maintained by left-wing people in these countries...). and it is even more funny when you claim Greece and Bulgaria a differt geographic entity and Greek lands in Europe and Cyprus, south-east of Minor Asia and Pontus in north-north eastern Black sea coastline as the same geographical entity.

    Don't you understand how funny your views are? You have lost this discussion since the beginning. Let it go and move on to another...

    Complain about this comment

  • 356. At 5:43pm on 05 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    You do not provide evidence for your allegations. That's why you need to rely on wishful thinking ("you lost this discussion" etc...)

    Complain about this comment

  • 357. At 9:14pm on 05 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris, there is so much evidence that I do not know where to start. For me the most easy would be to start from the most evident, biology.

    Forget about any genealogy tests (which have also been done and have proven - including DNA extracted by neolithic, mycenaean, archaic, classical, hellenistic and byzantine tombs), cos I understand that you might not accept it ideologically. Me too I am with you there, I am against massive genealogy tests but for other reasons than you related to banks of DNA kept without peoples' consent etc.

    Just find a random article like the above...:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalassemia

    I paraphrase:
    ""Thalassemias are particularly associated with people of Mediterranean origin, Arabs, and Asians.[2] The Maldives has the highest incidence of Thalassemia in the world with a carrier rate of 18% of the population. The estimated prevalence is 16% in people from Cyprus, 1%[3] in Thailand, and 3-8% in populations from Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan. There are also prevalences in descendants of people from Latin America and Mediterranean countries (e.g. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and others). A very low prevalence has been reported from people in Northern Europe (0.1%) and Africa (0.9%), with those in North Africa having the highest prevalence.""

    Too bad that Albanians, Turks and Bulgarians do not figure out there. It seems that we are more related to guys in North Africa, India and Maldives than to our neighbours next door.

    Guess what. I had it too. Luckily a minor one that I could pass eating a bit more spinach and lentils. At least I know I have increased immunity to malaria. Thus I did good not to take it in my last voyage in S.E. Asia since they say that if you have an increased resistance the medicine actually decreases it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 358. At 9:29pm on 05 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    What else Chris do you need? Language? If you want language take the 1830-written book of Makrigiannis I suggested above. "Memoirs of Makrigiannis". He was almost illiterate, never went to school and give us a "photograph" of the dialect spoken by illiterate (for some 400 years non-stop!) Greeks of the times. Go there see for your eyes. See also what he says about Greeks and who are they.

    So finished the ancestry, finished the language, what else do you need culture?

    Our culture is Greek-orthodox for the last 1500 years. So? How about it? It does not satisfy you? We had to be 12-theists dressed in chitons and togas teaching you mathematics and philosophy to be Greek for you? We did it one, now we are bored of doing it.

    The Greek-orthodox culture is as Greek as you can get. With Greek holy books (it is in Greek that these were written), with 12 Apostles (we invented them to be equal to the ancient ones), with icons for people to love and with an backing philosophy that is just Greek - no to mention the Christ, again a Greek name with the same life and ending like Dionysus (and of course other gods from other cultures - but it was mainly Dionysus he replaced). 25 of December, died, went to the underworld and came up again after 3 days... etc. Do not think I believe it anyway but it is Greek.

    Mycenaean, geometric, classical, hellenistic, roman & byzantine and later & modern Greeks have produced each their culture but you must be blind or pre-positioned against the idea to see that it is not Greek.

    Chris you just do not get it do you? The game for us is not to speak of how we are connected to archaic, mycenaean, minoan & minyan cultures - for which we knew always who they were for us. The game is too see how far back we fall on this nice place. And right now researchers stand about 8,000 B.C., that makes 10,000 years back for which they have found numerous "neolithic" cities and are in position to tell us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 359. At 10:50pm on 05 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, thalassemia won't help you. Neither - malaria!
    pneumonia, allergia, and, ? I would say overall :o)))) melancholia. ?hipohondria? What the English call "spleen".

    Besides, it's happy-hippo-hondria :o) in your case. clearly :o))))
    As Dave has noticed. Acute syndrome :o)))) which aggravates matters greatly!

    Here; "in days of doubt....:o(.... in days of self-torturing ? eh? say, thoughts.....:o(.... about fortunes of my native land... :o( .....
    - you are alone to me support and pillar O great and mighty Russian tongue! :o)))))))

    Just a sec. Will remember something.

    Complain about this comment

  • 360. At 11:14pm on 05 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mother Goose rhymes a-la Rus

    The Stubborn Foma. (Thomas)

    In one of the streets there stood some Dom-a (houses)
    In one of the Doms lived The Stubborn Foma.

    At home, at school (in the blogs :o) tra la la
    Trusted no one, and nothing - our stubborn Foma.

    In street there is slash ? slush? that snow and water and rain
    "Put on your galoshas!- mum is telling Foma.

    "Tha's not correct", doesn't believe our Foma, "This is lie"
    And right through the snow walks without galoshes (aj jai jai)

    Frost. Boys are putting on their skates, to go to the pond.
    The passsers-by have their collars lifted up.
    eh? tra la la la la
    In pants for a stroll goes out our Foma.

    ...? in the zoo
    "Look, that is an elephant!" (says their guide)
    - That's not true" - replies our Foma, "this is a lie!"
    "This elephant doesn't look like an elephant at all".

    It's night. Our Foma is watching a night-dream.
    As if he is walking through Africa. ? tra la la.
    From skies high above African sun is heating all up
    And river, titled Kongo :o) flows on.

    ..
    You can't go swim! Alligators here - tma! /heaps. (old turk language times Chingis-khan :o)
    - "That's simply not true!" - replies his friends our Foma.

    ...pants and a shirt - lie on the sand
    The stubborn boy swims the dangerous river. :o(
    is close, the alligator's voracious eh, mouth
    - Save yourself! poor boy! you will perish now!

    But his friends - they hear the answer well-known to them
    "I'd ask you not to teach me, I am eleven years old!"

    Already the croc is behind Foma's back!
    Already the croc is choking :o)))) with Foma!

    The wind carries on to the shore the last words :o(
    "Un-tr" .... "I don't b...." :o)))))
    The croc, tummy full, happily sighed
    And dived into green Gang waters tra la la.

    :o(
    A shirt... and pants... lonely lie in the sand :o(
    Nobody...is swimming....the dangerous.... river... :o(

    Foma woke up - didn't get nil.
    His pants and his shirt he takes from the chair.
    Foma is bewildred. Foma is angrified.
    "That's not true! Boys! That wasn't a night-dream!"

    Children. Find around one such a Foma
    And read him this verse. (Tra la la. Tra la la.)

    :o))))))))





    Complain about this comment

  • 361. At 11:28pm on 05 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Unfortunately, while this is all very interesting, it does not at all refute what I said. You keep moving along racial lines, alleging there is a genetic link here, a DNA proof there, which does not have anything to say about how much of the ancient Greek culture could be kept alive across the three big fractions of history in the Balkans - the invasions of the Romans, Christianisation and the Ottoman Empire. My estimate - something approaching the figure zero, your estimate something apporaching the figure 100. We all descend from neolithic cultures, there is nothing out of the ordinary to be found in that very simple fact. All of mankind, across the globe, is between 100,000 and 200,000 years old. But how does that prove any cultural link between today's Greece and ancient Greece? How does it justify the unbelievable arrogance with which some of those neo-hellenic national chauvinists dismiss Turkish, Macedonian and Albanian people as "uncivilised"? At this point, anyway, I would venture the guess that a Turkish person would be more justified in saying that his or her country is more civilised than Greece, albeit the remark would be just as obscene and chauvinistic as some of the hyperbolic jingoism we have read from some of the neo-hellenic fanatics on these boards. Turkey is doing better economically, its cities are kept in a much better state, its cultural appeal to the world is much stronger.

    It makes a person wonder just why it is the neo-hellenic fanatics are so eager to shed any Ottoman heritage from their culture when their culture is effectively an offspring of that civilisation. What point are they trying to make? And what are their plans for the future? The civilised world should definitely keep an eye on that region.

    Complain about this comment

  • 362. At 00:09am on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    __________

    tra la la!

    Complain about this comment

  • 363. At 00:30am on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, @348. Sorry didn't reply earlier about the movies. I haven't seen :o), neither The Night Watch nor The Day Watch. But I believe they are watchable. the night one was definitely received here with no less enthusiasm than Avatar (which I haven't seen either :o)))))
    And the day one is the sequel, with the same heroes. Yes they are supposed to be creepy and spooky :)))) and dashing and ? eh? one's attention grabbing, I think you will have fun, as min with the first the Night One. I would really like go finally see all the three I missed scary blockbustery ones :o))) can't explain how it happened I haven't. Just, happened. No time, you know :o)))) writing in this blog! :o))))

    As we had an old joke, forgot what it was about :o)))))
    Someone asks a chukcha (a Chukotka region inhabitant) (where Roman Abramovich is the governor theoretically) (was) (while living in London ! :o))))) by correspondence governor, you know, of the Republic :o))))) distance-learning :o)))))
    Anyway someone asks a chukcha "Have you read ? say "The Night Watch"something"? The man seems annoyed and replies Chukcha is not a reader! Chukcha is a writer!
    Well I am not a reader I am a writer :o)))))

    But I remember you like scary films aaah ones :o))))) Must be alright.
    Even in Russian :o)))) I don't think there is much to miss to hear there :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 364. At 07:44am on 06 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Here is a sad song for the victims of Moscow's terrorist victims:

    Broken windows and empty hallways
    Pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray
    Hunan kindness is overflowing
    I think its going rain today

    Bellboys dressed in the latest styles
    Frozen smiles to chase love away
    Human kindness is overflowing
    And I think its going to rain today

    Lonely, so lonely,
    Tin can at my feet
    I think I'll kick it
    down the street
    That's no way to treat a friend

    The sky before me
    the signs implores me
    Help the needy and
    show them them the way
    Human kindness is overflowing
    But, I think its going to rain today

    Complain about this comment

  • 365. At 08:42am on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re361: See what I mean Chris? You answer it yourself. You are not willing ot accept a single fact. You have decided that only Athenians of 5th century, democratic and philisophy talking can be Greeks. Right, I am sorry but you reject in this the 99% of the rest of Greeks. I can do nothing about it other than telling you that this is your own notion of Greekness which is ill and downright dangerous. For us Greeks Athens of 5th century is just an important but then just one of the stations of this nation.

    Under your nihilist view Germans are not Germans since they are not militarists anymore, French ceased to be real French under the French Revolution and Italians ceased to be Italians when they unified - as all these three nations underwent vast cultural changes under these social changes.

    As for your insistence in refering to Macedonians racistically attacking me using our proper names (I am a Macedonian you know), to refer to a group of Slavic people that are basically Bulgarians, and who use the name as a weapon against us, is all revealing your hatred for Greeks.

    You may consider the Turks as more civilised if you want, that only reveals your totalitarian views (I guess you admire them for all their genocides having killed some 4 million people only in the 20th century, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and anything else that did not abide to their worldview, their recent invasions, their violence against Kurds, and of course the good old laws under which if you insult in any way "Turkey" you get 5 years minimum in prison). Very civilised indeed.

    So how modern Greek culture is an off-spring of Ottoman culture? Please explain to me! I guess Kavafis, Palamas, Kazantzakis had Ottoman influence? Or Karatheodoris stole Ottoman science?

    You get more and more funny Chris. I am enjoying this!

    Complain about this comment

  • 366. At 09:42am on 06 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    As to your analogies - they cannot be taken seriously. While the French revolution did indeed instigate a vast cultural change in France and across Europe, one cannot pin-point a time when Germans were militarists or non-militarists. Before and after World War 2, they had an army, before and after World War 2, they chose a mix of peaceful and militaristic options to do foreign policy. And it is true that Italy was not the same place anymore when it unified. Few people even in Italy are aware that there is such a thing as a Venetian language. An Italian colleague of mine tells me it is just an Italian dialect, while Venetians are quite adamant it is a language in its own right. This seems to be one of those melancholy chapters in history when a language or culture disappears from our daily life into the history books. And this is just one example of the fundamental changes Italy had to undergo in its unification. One could hardly say it was still the same society, because it simply wasn't.

    By the way, I have to take issue with your repeated quotation of Caratheodory as someone who, according to your thinking, is a "Greek" scientist. He was born in Germany and then moved to Belgium. His father was the Ottoman ambassador to Belgium - a clear indication of where his family's loyalties lay and what to make of this nonsense that Greek and Turkish people did not get along (they were all one big Ottoman society, which is something people who grow up in mono-cultural societies seem to have a hard time understanding). He did all of his studies in German universities. True, he sided with Greece during the Greek-Turkish war (presumably because he had a Greek-sounding surname and spoke the Greek language), but to repeatedly present him as a fine example of a Greek scientist when his education and science was exclusively European and almost exclusively German, is nothing short of irredentism. He spent most of his years in Germany and wrote all of his books in German and not a single one in Greek. It is very likely that his German was far better than his Greek. His short stints in Greece do not really compare to that. Spending a couple of months in Turkey will hardly make me a Turkish person.

    About Macedonia - the ancient Greeks considered Macedonia "barbarian" trerritory for many centuries, i.e. territory where a language other than Greek was spoken. Macedonians today are different to the Macedonians who lived 2500 years ago, and I am yet to meet a Macedonian who would deny that. Today's Irish people do not claim to be the same Irish people who lived 2500 years ago. Today's Germans do not say they are the same Germans who lived 2000 years ago (in fact only the Nazis of the 1930s and 40s believed that). Nations, territories and populations change and everybody other than a handful of Greek nationalists seems to realise that. As to your repeated claim of being racially attacked. Being skeptical about the veracity of a myth has nothing to do with race. It's called critical thinking and it is a fine and proud tradition of western European enlightenment, which should not be attacked with vulgar accusations of racism.

    About Greek culture/Ottoman culture - all you need to do is open your eyes. Greek cuisine is effectively Turkish cuisine with different names. The headscarf among old women is just as popular in Greece as it is in Turkey. The bribing culture is very Ottoman, too. Passing envelopes across the counter to ask for favours avoiding the tax man is popular in both countries, although admittedly, it's much more wide-spread in Greece. 30% of the Greek economy is informal, which is one of the chief reasons for its current economic calamities (of course, that is not Greece's fault all, how could it be? Tt's the government/the Germans/the Turks/the Macedonians/the Albanians/the Americans who did it). The architecture in both countries is impossible for an outsider to tell apart, although Turkish towns tend to be cleaner and tidier.

    Please, let us not get caught up in baseless allegations of racism and this pointless argument of which of the neo-Macedonians or neo-Hellenics have more legitimacy. All this is rather unnecessary.

    Complain about this comment

  • 367. At 09:51am on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris, forget about ultra-nationalist Greeks (sincerely you think I am one?)- these people if they exist they lie on the... left-wing spectrum of the equivalent scale in Turkey or in Germany. Greeks are a civilisation not a particular culture. Spartan culture had absolutely nothing to do with Athenian culture apart worshiping the same Gods. Greek culture was exemplified more by states like Miletus, Syracuses, Macedonia and Epirus rather than cities like Thebes, Athens or Sparta which gave birth neither to Greek thought, nor to Greek philosophy, arts or science. It is not the fault of Greeks if westerners tried to concentrate all the history of Greece in two cities (since they tried to downplay the Greek nature of the Roman Empire that was nothing else than a continuation of the Greek civilisation - quite funny for a city like Rome carrying a Greek name itself, whose half population of patricians carried Greek names and genealogies).

    No Greek ever claimed said that Greeks have not integrated other people throughour their long-long-long historic path. They did but guess whom? Their overwhelming majority were people like southern Thraecians, Bithynians, Phrygians, Carians or Italics with Persians, Phoenicians, Franks, Goths, Slavs & Albanians being rather a much much smaller group that had less significance than say Mongol input to Norway (which by the way is still visible today...). Turks were a zero addition for the simple fact that all mix went to the side of muslims (extremely few muslims ever became christians, and if that happened it was almost certainly 1st generation ex-christians returning from being crypto-christian muslims). Now out of all these people, the vast majority including the Minor Asian people, the Thraecians and the Italics were anyway people that were very close to Greeks - thus modern Greeks retained their Mediterranean characteristics (which would not be the case if we had all that mix being derived from tribes that were not associated with Greeks e.g. Slavs, Albanians, Turks, Goths & other Germanics etc.). Greeks identify themselves as basically a Mediterranean nation and they are actually the nation that exemplifies the Mediterranean nations. In fact, people (Mediterranean or not) call Mediterranean only those people that resemble Greeks. For example, most Libanese are called Mediterranean for resembling Greeks but if they see a more Arab-looking Libanese people start talking of Middle Eastern. Same with Egypt - see a rather Greek-like Egyptian like professor of Egyptology Hawas and people might call him Mediterranean, but then if they see an Arab-like Egyptian they will call him "Middle-Easterner". What you see Chris does not tell a lie.

    Anthropology in the Balkans is fascinating - both in terms of ancestries as well as cultures. You have to see it with a clear mind and not with any end target. Stating what you see is not racism - racism is refusing what you see so as to fit things to your own theories (and that is what you do Chris). Out of all these nations, the Greeks distinguish as the only nation of Mediterranean nature, who obviously are the older habitants of the place. The only other close-to-Mediterranean populations are some of the coastal populations in Turkey who derive from ex-christian populations but these are a 10-15% of Turkey's population with a continuously decreasing % in the differential birth rates inside the country thus many have a problem in identifying Turkey as a Mediterranean country no matter if Turks themselves try to sell themselves as such (just see their tv/film actors - all the first men roles are taken by Greek-resembling actors - it is no accident - and this may explain why Turkish women are attraced by Greek men).

    You think that we Greeks "deny our Ottoman past". Well it is there you are wrong. So far we remember the Ottoman past and if we really did an effort to remember more, then we would be even more knowledgeable of the the poverty, the underdevelopment, the injustice, the serfdorm, the slaughters and the struggle of our ancestors to get out of that ugly situation and thus our perception of Ottomans would be even worse than it is right now.

    Mind you, there is currently an effort to play down differences with Turks and guess what do they do? They actually took out from schools a huge part of our Ottoman history, dropping a couple of "as-if neutral lines" so that children do not learn the reality: of course to achieve so, the books had to do guess what:
    Retire the actual writings of people that lived in those times and replace them with "views and comments" of people that lived in the late 20th century...

    ... so you get the point Chris!

    By the way, have you ever visited Turkey? Just by curiosity. I have visited the European and Asiatic part of the country, it is a beautiful country and has a lot of things to see. If yes, where did you go?

    Complain about this comment

  • 368. At 10:25am on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 369. At 11:07am on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Hmmm perhaps in 368 was the Greek alphabet characters. It is alright.

    Chris, you wanted to know what were the Macedonians? There you have it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Macedonian_language

    Imagine that the article tries to present all opinions including the pathetically wrong ones (like yours) for the shake of impartiality. Yet if you find anything barbaric in there please tell me so that I know about it, hehe...:

    What I like is the following remark:
    ""This article is about the language of Ancient Macedonians; for the unrelated South Slavic language, see Macedonian language.""

    So why did Tito named it Maceodonian 60 years ago if not to demand lands that are not theirs? Do you support Slavic aggression and expansionism Chris? (are you a slav by the way? ok, you live in Germany, but you keep hiding your own ethnic background. However your hatred of Greeks reveals a lot...).

    Ah... yes, take the Pella curse tablet: No educated hellenists there... just a plain young semi-illiterate Macedonian commoner woman...:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pella_curse_tablet

    Barbaric Chris? Barbaric?

    You want evidence? Well take proof Chris.

    Next time you want to know who is what, please ask the people themselves first.

    Complain about this comment

  • 370. At 11:13am on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Funny with a head-scarf as a typical decisive feature of "Ottoman empire".
    I think someone here hasn't seen a Matryoshka doll. :o))))))

    say, a blue ribbon, in the braid. scary to think :o))))) how it can be used in a dispute :o))))))


    On the diversity of Balkan countries' - yes. We have recently figured out where the Hungarians may be from :o))))) As nobody understands them, cute language.
    In 1990-s they came to Siberia to build a tube, No one thousand :o)))) Together with Germans. Well, with Germans it was easy with interpretors to Soviet Gazprom, but Hungarian interpretors, how to say, a big quantity, is not easily obtainable beyond Urals, and for a long time of the project. Moscow ones wouldn't go work there, in Hanty-Mansijsk (city, capital of Hanty-Mansy Autonomous Region).

    Imagine the Gazprom relief when it was discovered that Hanty-Mansy themselves perfectly speak "Hungarian" :o)))))) and are able to translate. And translated, for half a year. Who would have thought, not that they ever left their Siberia.

    Complain about this comment

  • 371. At 11:32am on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Very interesting story. To what extend where the locals of Hanty-Mansy able to understand the Hungarians? I can imagine that a lot of technical words are shared via Russian (which is inspired a lot from latin & greek like other europoean languages) but then what about the everyday speech? It would be amazing to have such an inter-comprehension of two groups split apart for more than 1100 years.

    Intercomprehension between Greeks of mainland Greece and Greeks of Pontus after 800 years of splitting apart was at a critical point. While when written both languages are perfectly Greek and are inter-comprehensible, orally the pronunciation and "way of speaking" changes made the two dialects being on the limit of separating (a kind of Spanish and Portuguese), one had to get used to comprehend a lot. Same with Greeks of South Italy, their dialect sounds pleasantly weird to us - a bit like Cretan and Lakonian (Cretans, Lakones & South Italians were all Dorian-originated Greeks, Pontians are Ionian-originated...).

    I love such stories. For example to me there is always the question of the affinity of Bulgarian language to Russian. Bulgarian language while separate, really makes it easy for Bulgarians to learn Russian. It cannot be easily explained as Russians and Bulgarians never had common borders nor did ever Russia rule over Bulgaria or the opposite (well Bulgarians had a passage from south Russia but that was more than 1000 years back...).

    Complain about this comment

  • 372. At 11:50am on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, surely they understood each other badly, if you are asking "to what extent". But exactly on house-hold every day life arrangements, when is the dinner, where is the transfer bus to be found, how many people, schedule, groups arrangement, work-wise. And, overall, being able to present people, explain who has come or goes where, "will come soon, that kind of thing. Invaluable for general orientation for Hungarians in Siberia :o))))

    Nik :o)))))). "Hanty-Mansy - aren't very "technical" :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 373. At 11:55am on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    It was discovered in the hotel corridor :o)))) someone noticed that the floor cleaner and Hungarians are speaking :o))))))) quite absorbed , with each other :o)))))) about something :o)))))))

    Then all got interested and began experimenting on them :o)))))

    Russians I assure you don't understand simply a word of neither folk. It doesn't sound like any thing on Earth.

    Complain about this comment

  • 374. At 12:00pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The importance of timely getting out of Siberia ! :o))))) A Hungarian example.

    Complain about this comment

  • 375. At 12:09pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I think it is reasonable. Look at your "Europe" I am sorry :o))))), the bump on the left side, and at "all the rest", on the right side.

    It is more likely that from a bigger place bigger various peoples got out to tiny ends bits and pieces, corners, than the other way around. Simply because there were more of them, and may be they didn't all always go well together. Or some nature mis-haps, remember we are talking old times. A good solid freeze out or a good solid draught a reason enough, to think of "better places". Even in our time :o)))))

    Those your favourite turks got out, after all, recently. From native feather-grass steppe. And into rocky mountains! to stumble upon.
    And swim, over someone else's columns.
    I bathed in Turkey, excellent transparent water, you snorkel and just right under you, in the green water, 2 metres deep, lie white marble columns.

    Complain about this comment

  • 376. At 12:22pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Or may be Hungarians themselves hopped over somehow. at some time. or they all are a part of someone who vanished.
    while there is one strong ground it is walkable.
    Urals mountains, for that matter, are also walk-able. Quite pleasant mountains. They don't look like some cliffs and abyss-es, deep holes and sharp edges, quite old, decent, settled down and grown over with forest mountains.

    Complain about this comment

  • 377. At 2:00pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Bulgarians I don't know. There is Generalissimo for that. I think them Volga-rians, what we call "Volgaree". Must be have had an own tsardom on Volga at some time, they are different to "Russians". I haven't thought about it, Bulgaria, like, was always there. But a thing of its own.
    Must be old neighbours I conclude, as understandable. Were neighbours on one side, became neighbours on another side :o))))), what's the difference.

    Complain about this comment

  • 378. At 2:01pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    There were always such Perestroyka-s here, Nik :o)))))), hardly anyone sat on the spot.

    Complain about this comment

  • 379. At 2:34pm on 06 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Nik, as you seem to be so interested in my "ethnic" background, I'll repeat it to you for the third time. I used to live in England. My father is British, my mother is German-Turkish. I have no allegiance to any ethnicity to the world. I have a strong belief in British values and in civilisation.

    Tito was not the founder of the modern nation of Macedonia. Here is a short history of Macedonian nationalism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonian_nationalism

    The modern Macedonian people are slightly older than Yugoslavia and Tito's topography of Yugoslavia. I did not say, by the way, that Modern Macedonians had anything to do with the ancient Macedonians. All I said was that if modern Greeks (especially the far right in Greece) can arrogate a lineage to ancient Greeks, then by all means, allow Macedonians to do the same.

    Your link proved my point by the way. The ancient Macedonian language was different to ancient Greek. "Barbaric" in ancient Greece did not carry the same aggressive chauvinbism in it that you hear when modern Greeks use the term. It simply meant from a country or origin where Greek is not spoken.

    Hatred? The problem here is that we seem to use different terms for different things. Your idea of "racism" seems to be any act or statement suggesting that someone is not really buying the story of Greece having an unbroken cultural link to the ancient Greeks. My idea of racism is discriminating against people based on their skin colour or their ethnic origin.

    Your idea of hatred is having an opinion that is different from yours. My idea of hatred is (for example) calling other nations "uncivilised" and "barbaric". My idea of blind hatred is expressing indifference and making excuses for the 150++ assassinated journalists in Russia since 1989. My idea of hatred is expressing sympathy for Russia's brutal and shameless irredentism, currently in Georgia, but also in countries like Poland, Ukraine and Japan. My idea of hatred is making excuses for the Srebrenica genocide and blaming anyone other than those who committed the atrocities. It does not have anything to do with anyone being Greek. If a Portuguese or Algerian or Pakistani person tried to defend these indefensible positions, I would be just as critical of them.

    Here is a little piece of advice, only from a common sense point of view. You have to be more consistent. You cannot make excuses for Russia's constant aggressive land-grabs, whose only objective is expansion and nothing else (villages, towns, cities and regions that fall under Russian rule very quickly degenerate into dilapidated toilets) and then point fingers at Macedonians and Albanians (which have not had a war with Greece at any point after World War 2) and accuse them of wanting Greek lands. If you hold one set of a countries to a lofty moral standard, then you have to hold all countries in the world to that lofty moral standard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 380. At 2:48pm on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    WA... ah women have always problem with right and left!!! When my wife says turn left, turn left! I turn right! And she responds, yes its here!

    Russia is on the right WA not on the left! And yes even European Russia is bigger than the rest of Europe altogether. And thus it is natural that it is from this big lump that

    However, note that it is not only the geography but the number of population too. And the variation of populations that the world has seen since the neolithic times is considerable and still goes on. For example in the lands that represent the Greek state today there were 10 people while the overall Greek population around the Mediterranean surpassed the 20 million, given that South Italy was said to have more Greeks than the Greek peninsula. Numbers are to be discussed of course but only if you add up the populations of major cities you gather several millions and that does not include the rural Greeks who were not any small minority anyway! Hence you had the notion of Greeks dividing their neighbourhood into Greeks and non-Greeks. No other nation had their numbers between 800 B.C. and 200 A.D. in the Mediterranean world - of course Egyptians, Iranians, Carthagenians had massive numbers but they dragged it from the depths of their lands (including various other people) thus not concentrated around the Mediterranean coastline.

    But then compare for example the 10 million Greeks of the Greek peninsula with the Britons (Celtics etc.) in Britain, an island with double the surface of Greece was said to have a population of 1 to 2 millions. France was quite populated, it might had 15 millions in a place 4 to 5 times bigger than Greece. Central Europe too apart the banks of Danube was scarcely populated permitting the easy transfert of populations. When Atilla arrived in central Europe it is still discussed if he decreased (he did certainly!) or if he increased at the end the population with all these GothoAlanoSarmatians he dragged around him.

    In a few words, various populations around the world augmented and decreased following the evolution of history. For example Chinese and Indians were always populous but it was not until the 19th century that did their massive boom while in Europe the living conditions (and constant war) were forcing people to have smaller families or make no children. Even inside Europe you had hugely different demographics: France for example was already 40 millions in 18th century while Germans were 20... today French are 50 and Germans 80 - so you see how quickly the balance can change! Had French had the same demographics, France should contain 160 million French!!! Russians (and other ethnic groups) are around 150 million when they could be up to 400 million had the communist regime not done what it did (i.e. bringing 1980s-90s western birth rates to pre-WWII Russia, let alone the hugest slaughters of mankind taking place there...). On another continent, huge as Australia, natives did not number more than 1 million (!!!!!!). Tasmanians living on the large island of Tasmania were 5,OOO people. In Africa - people think that masses of Africans lived while the population on this more than 10 times bigger continent than Europe-without-Russia was much much smaller than the one in Europe (Africa started having "reasonable" population in relation to its size only in the 1990s!!!). While in America people think that it was a half empty continent - well that was after the plagues at the end of the 1500s. However in 1500, estimates say that there were not less than 120 million people! A whole world that was lost there!

    People have a completely wrong idea about the development of this world and how demographics played and continue to play a vital role of human development in different geographic locations.

    Complain about this comment

  • 381. At 4:47pm on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re.379: British with Turks organised the genocide in Minor Asia killing 1,5 million Greeks and expulsing the rest. Germans did their own in WWII by provoking the great famine - all together nearly 1 million Greeks died in WWII. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the nations that propagandised most against Greeks and the nations that worked against Greeks and the nations that have been most violent against Greeks were the British, the Turks and the Germans.

    Exactly British, German & Turkish are your origins Chris. I respect your roots as roots but I am sorry, you are not doing any effort at all at get away from them as you claim.

    Take some of your "diamonds":

    You said the first link I gave you as a starting point proves that Macedonians spoke a non-Greek language:

    Here is the link again:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Macedonian_language
    Really? Where exactly you saw that?

    Here is the writtings of a semi-illiterate commner woman:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pella_curse_tablet
    Does that seem non-Greek to you? How am I able to read it then with my modern Greek knowledge?

    Based on the above two, you give me the right to call you, what, a propagandist? A Gebbelist? Well...you chose.

    Now lets see your link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonian_nationalism

    In there I find the "history of this as-if nationality":
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    """"The first to use the term "Macedonist" was the Bulgarian author Petko Slaveykov, who coined the term in his article The Macedonian Question, published in the newspaper Makedoniya in 1871. However, he pointed that he had heard for the first time of such ideas as early as 10 years prior, i.e. around 1860. Slaveykov sharply criticised those Macedonians espousing such views, as they had never shown a substantial basis for their attitudes, calling them Macedonists.[40] Another early recorded use of the term "Macedonism" is found in a report by the Serbian politician Stojan Novaković from 1887. He proposed to employ the macedonistic ideology as a means to counteract the Bulgarian influence in Macedonia, thereby promoting Serbian interests in the region.[41] Novaković's diplomatic activity in Istanbul and St. Petersburg played significant role for the realization of his ideas, especially through the “Association of Serb-Macedonians” formed by him in Istanbul and through his support for the Macedonian Scientific and Literary Society in St. Petersburg.[42] In 1888 the Macedono-Bulgarian ethnographer Kuzman Shapkarev noted as result from this activity that a strange, ancient ethnonym: "Macedonci" (Macedonians) was imposed 10–15 years ago by some weird intellectuals, introduced probably with a "cunning aim" to replace the traditional one: "Bugari" (Bulgarians).[43]""""
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Exactly! Chris... your own link says it all.

    I rest my case.

    Complain about this comment

  • 382. At 6:28pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, I didn't mean q-ty of something homogeneous in the main land mass of the continent
    (the place that many wiki writers and writers of articles elsewhere give up on defining :o))), and write "for the simplicity from this point on and further in the text we shall call it "Russia") :o)))))

    What it seems to me is rather q-ty of units in the old continent. Space allowing them to keep themselves to themselves, for quite long time periods, and not necessarily interact more than necessary :o))), and inter-breed and inter-mix, how to say.

    Then some of these units deviated seems to me :o))))), took wider place.

    Depends on the means of existence as well. The three main types here (on our side :o) (rightwards :o)))), as you say :o)))) were forest folks read hunters, agriculture folks read diggers :o))))) and steppe travellers arranged around horses. Where they graze.

    Horsy :o))) ones moved quite a lot around, clock-wise and anti-clock-wise :o))))), Russian head goes dizzy just watching the moves :o)))))
    With in-raids onto us as well. To collect taxes and duties, if you remember, the mongol-tatar invasion of 3 centuries of taxes and duties :o))))

    Agriculture ones also moved, to where conditions are better at certain periods for digging :o)))) Or squeesed by the horsy ones, North. Or space appears forest-free, that can be worked on.
    This mass swayed to sides but more or less kept where it is (where agriculture is always tops read modern inflated Ukraine and what's called "the big middle-Russia plain". (Bolshaya Sredne-russkaya Ravnina). A good flat place where things grew and grow.
    In parts of modern Ukraine, for that matter, I don't think anywhere here well may be in France the soil is this black and richy rich. You can plug a chair there :o)))) and it will blossom.

    Only an idiot will move away from the Big middle-russky plain and that central Ukr. plain. Granted all who ever were there stayed there forever. Simply no reason to look for better agricultural conditions on this continent :o)))

    Now, the forest ones (Russian North and Siberai) are also there. Not that forest still provides much, well, in fact, it does. I don't think there are mushrooms on any shelf in Europe or in China that are not collected in Siberia and marinated in China :o))))
    Siberians export not tons but I don't know, trucks and trains. 25 tons per village per season is the standard. Plus wood. plus fur a little bit.
    From native forests I don't think anyone deviated :o))), stable people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 383. At 6:34pm on 06 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    well you rest your case, but the link proves that you were wrong about Macedonia being Tito's invention. Macedonian nationalism is just a little younger than Greek nationalism.

    You understand what is written on the tablet and...? What is that meant to prove? That the ancient Macedonian language was possibly related to Greek? How would that be surprising? The fact of the matter is that it was a separate language in its own right seen in ancient Greece as being outside the Greek language dominion (thus called a "barbarian" nation). Germans can read Dutch without much effort and Dutch people can read German without much effort. That does not mean they are one and the same language.

    You are blaming the British to what happened to Greeks in Asia Minor during and after the war? The Greek gambit was as follows - attack the Turks who were trying to get out of the Ottoman Empire and annex parts of their territory. They lost that bet and the Turks retaliated. Now all forms of genocide should be condemned of course but to rip this out of context would be very much akin to seeing the Sudetend Germans and East Prussians as "victims" of expulsion who had not at all provked what happened to them.

    I think you are also right in mentioning the famine during World War 2, which should never be forgotten. What I find very telling is the fact that Greek nationalists are in a habit of neglecting to mention the Turkish ship SS Kurtuluş, which was part of a Turkish-Swedish effort to grant the Greek people relief from the famine. All the nationalists ever do is demonise Turkish people.

    The Turkish nation, only twenty years after Greece had tried to steal Turkish territory showed real generosity and altruism when it helped the Greek nation through the famine. Even Greek nationalists should stop pointing their fingers at Turkish, British and German people for a moment and have a look at what those nations have done for them in the past -

    "Greece" would not even exist had it not been for British assistance in 1920/21

    Turkey assisted Greece during the World War 2 famine

    Germany has been contributing billions upon billions of Euros to the EU budget ever since the inception of the European Union, which Greece has been a member for 30 years. Greece has been the biggest recipient of EU funds ever since it became a member.

    So blaming other nations is a very interesting pass-time, I am sure, it must be fun, the way some people go crazy about it. But one should not forget all the acts of great altruism and generosity that Greece has enjoyed from those nations through the decades and centuries.

    Complain about this comment

  • 384. At 7:04pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And of course, Nik, I share your optimism re the British-German-Turkish combination :o))))))

    IMO, either part, taken separately, is quite alright :o)))))
    Besides, what's also important, manageable :o))))))
    (may be that's why Britsh and Turkish at times stick-ed together :o)))))

    But flossed into one ball it's, how to say, future of the EU wonder :o))))
    I think what we may be dealing with is a new man (of the world) potential development direction :o)))))
    Good beginning is half the battle; you get pearls like
    _______________
    - My idea of hatred is (for example) calling other nations "uncivilised" and "barbaric".
    - ...hellenic fanatics.... The civilised world should definitely keep an eye on that region.
    ________________

    The two sentences get together (in one such civilised head :o)))) without a problem.

    Can be a personality thing as well, not simply a combination of traditional sympathies of the component cultures.
    Interesting

    Complain about this comment

  • 385. At 7:06pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    But "the civilised world" should, "keep an eye", I agree. Just in case :o))))
    The un-civilised - likewise :o)))))

    All, who want to live! :o)))))), how to say :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 386. At 7:41pm on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Chris chris chris... I take back whatever I suggested about your background having you wired to be against Greeks at any case.

    You are just a total ignorant.

    Let the 1919-1922 cos you lack the basics to comment it. Just before leaving it, note that no Greek ever voted for war. Greeks voted overwhelmingly against war, our case was never to enter deep in Minor Asia. It HAS been the British but you are not mature enough to understand the games played.

    The genocide of Greeks is irrelevant to 1919-1922 events. It had started since the 1912 while prior in 1903 there was huge slaughter of Greeks in Macedonia after Turkish falsely believing that behind the Bulgarian organised Iliden pseudo-revolt were the Greeks - a slaughter that emptied the place so much that gave hopes to Bulgarians to get a hand over the land).

    As for the British "saving Greeks in 1922" you must be joking. Did you asked yourself "how Turks got to get "European Turkey" when Kemal did not possess even a single ship and when Greeks had a full navy? Of course you largely ignore that when Greeks prepared a counter attack of more than 120,000 soldiers British threatened them with total war (by British, not Turks!) so Greeks had to give to Turkey European Thrace too - while Kemal was struggling passing his armies to the other side (with fishermen boats or something...). Really, you have to show me this "Turkish navy", I have to see it...

    Anyway, what am I saying? Are you willing to listen? No.

    As for your view on the ancient Macedonian language - what are you trying there to say? "possibly related"... what "possibly related" Chris... what "possibly related"? Do you understans that I read with modern Greek knowledge a text written by a semi-illiterate common Macedonian woman of the 5th century B.C.? 100 years prior to Alexander, that makes it 2500 years exactly. You will tell me "possibly" and that is barbaric? I guess your definition of language (like that of ethnicity) is "what you like and what you do not like". Nice there.

    Why are you accusing me of demonising the Turkish people? I am here to tell you that behind the Turkish genocides in Minor Asia there were other interests and that if these interests were not there, the Turks would not had commited the hideous crimes they did. Greeks (and Armenians and Assyrochaldeans) were massacred, Turks commited it ans the crime will be hanging over their necks but then it was others that commited it and others that profited out of it. I am not joking about this - this is fact that is recently increasingly becoming known among Greeks that the biggest eneme of Greeks in the 19th and 20th century were not the Turks, nor the Germans but the British. You have to dig deep to understand that but you do not have the depth Chris, let alone having the will to do so.

    Speaking about altruism of nations over to Greece (or just any Greece in the world...) is just funny Chris, I wonder in what fantasy world you live in? If you ever cared I explained above in previous messages how Germany "aided" Greece inside the EU. With such "aid" who needs enemies?

    Complain about this comment

  • 387. At 7:56pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On having read how Greece benefitted from Turkey I even cheered up.

    I always thought that the one grabatised is to judge how exactly beneficial for him the grabatiser was. Normally, about such benefits you ask the recepient nation, not the generous benefactor. Whether he/she is minded to say Thank you or to send the benefactor to hell :o)))))

    But given that "the civilised world" :o)))))) is of the opinion that it's benefactors, who should be asked, or non-parties of all kinds around :o))))) (the ones who have no clue, normally :o)))))) -
    well - let's ask me! How benefitial for the Eastern Europe USSR was, for 40 years throughout.

    I have heaps of ideas! examples! awful convincing eh, infrustructural "toilets" off all kinds :o)))))) nuclear plants and other toilets and what not.

    Why is it that we don't write books "How benefitial we the benefactor were". Simply, a shame. :o)))))))

    How on Earth Cyprus managed without Turkey?
    What would Greece do without them?
    Surely, it is fitting and civilised, to ask Turkey about it. They will tell tons. Well, kilos. 100 gramm guaranteed.
    :o)))))))

    Ask USA how Iraq is happy with them. Write it down :o))))
    Ask Iraquees how they are happy with the USA. Write it down :o)))))


    How did Eastern Europe manage without our Marxism-Leninism obligatory school subject? What were their school curriculums filled with?
    :o)))))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 388. At 8:29pm on 06 Apr 2010, Chris Camp wrote:

    Yes Nik, it is all a big conspiracy and everyone is just trying to hurt Greece. Nothing was ever Greece's fault... You aren't the most convincing person I have ever debated with, but you are one of the most amusing ones.

    It seems pointless trying to figure out why you think the British are Greece's biggest enemy. I would say something factually verifiable like the fact that Britain made Greece in 1821 and you are going to give me some convoluted conspiracy theory that cannot be verified or falsified with anything.

    Complain about this comment

  • 389. At 8:55pm on 06 Apr 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Nik
    I noticed that Greece is courting investment from the west by calling itself "emerging". How can a civilization thousands of years old be emerging? Emerging from what?

    Complain about this comment

  • 390. At 10:05pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David,
    that was a very nice poem you wrote, that you devoted to the sadness, that, how to say, befell here, after the underground murder.

    I am sorry I haven't replied before, got carried away, with this influensa influenca . It is often far easier to think about whatever but not about what you should think about :o)
    Keeps one sane :o)
    And silly. :o(

    Anyway, that was in the mood, good.

    Complain about this comment

  • 391. At 10:12pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And I clean forgot in my "continent classification" :o) about people who make living by sea (like the Greek) (used to :o) and our North, Northern Icy Ocean shore inhabitants - what's the name of that Ocean in English? There, up, I mean, above the head.

    And the mountain people! like Caucasus! Though I am damned if I know what they make their living on! :o))))))

    My feeling is this category always made their living the way how the current on-going invaders allowed the mountain folk :o))))
    One century it will take them to go up and hide ;o))))
    The other century - to go down and do something ;o))))
    The third one these might devote to grabs of the things of the lower lands. :o))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 392. At 10:28pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, what is it critics with "left" and "right" ?

    I've explained MA, about a year ago here (but you were not yet around), that Russians don't know the difference between East and West. Only very learned individuals :o)))), forced to :o)))))

    We use "left" and "right" instead. And, how to say, honestly :o)))) with "left" and "right" - it also - depends :o))))))

    What's the difference? You think if you walk in Russia 3 months "left" or "East" or "West" or "right" - anything will change?!

    There is only one meaningful direction - "pure Nord". Note, the compass thinks the same :o)))))

    North, and, in the smaller degree, "South" - OK makes difference.
    20 metres between North and South makes difference. It's that side of your house where snow stays longer. And the other side is when ground appears first. It will be warmer there, for flowers.

    Note - 20 metres distance between North and South - makes great difference! You can have a cherry tree - or you can't at all.
    While 20 km between left and right - none whatsoever.

    You seem really obsessed, "in the West", :o)))) with this left and right, or how you call it, East and West.

    There must be a reason why you find it relevant, in everyday life, like subway messages in London subway I saw "West" or "East" - was totally ROFL :o))))

    Like, Oh thanks :o)))), great help to me! :o)))))) Where is my compass? school map of the world ? :o))))) some geography text-book, any one? :o))))

    Likewise in the US the streets on city maps are also often called somethimng "West" and something "East", as I noticed.
    To repel a Russian invasion, I decided :o))))) have us in immediate stupor :o)))))
    I mean, it was great help to me! :o)))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 393. At 10:32pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Here I sit, In St. Petersburg, and I know where is North. I feel it. I mean, North is North.
    Ask me where is my dacha - East or West, in relation to the city - a joke!
    ? to the left, I would think.
    or to the right.

    It depends if one is facing North, thinking about it.
    Or feeling like you sit in the North, North safe place behind you, and look at all, from above - down :o)))))

    Really, depends on the mood.

    Complain about this comment

  • 394. At 10:44pm on 06 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    San Fransisco seems to me to be the left side of the US, and Charleston - right side.

    This is because I don't "sit" in the USA, and don't look , from there, at anybody.

    USA I imagine like in the school map, up, down, (where it gets narrow), left and right.
    Mavelius is on the right side, David said he is in the centre. I think.
    MaudDib had a problem with cross-country skiiing training ;o)))), as far as I remember :o)))))) So doesn't feel like being very "up". Besides, a "Southerner" by allegiance :o)))

    Complain about this comment

  • 395. At 11:10pm on 06 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re388: Chris, the word conspiracy is easy to throw (just like other words), I prefer the word geopolitics. For example how do you call the constant friction of Britain (and consequently US) with Russia? Conspiracy? That is how politics move on.

    Now you continue refering to things you just do not know. In 1821, the British not only did not aid Greeks but were prime suppliers of the Ottoman army and even refused to recognise the existence of Greek nation. Why? Well why would they want the fall of the Ottoman Empire? British got into thins in late 1822 but not to help but to activate their agents (Mavrokordatos & Koletis) who brought in derision inside the ranks of Greeks leading to civil war. It was an effort to end the revolution there. They changed opinion when they saw that Greeks were this time decided to keep on and not stop civil war or no civil war and of course the turning point was by 1927 when Russians were going down to dissolve once and for all the Ottoman Empire (something they would had done in 1770 if it had not been for the intervention of Britain). British "aid" was to limit the vision of Greeks into "little Greece" and to make it a client state of British. For the next 100 years the country will have 1 main struggle - how to get out of the grip of the British.

    Chris you lack the basics of history, just return to your books and read again. Please... for your own shake.

    Re: MaudDib the title "emerging" refers to financial & market status. Ancient civilisations can thus be emerging countries. Take China and India for example. Tomorrow it might be Iran & Egypt. Greece is not "emerging". It is in the same stalemate as 150 years back for reasons that were well analysed by some knowledgeable people of the times. Just put it in the same picture : in that area there not a single developed country. You could say Israel, is quite organised and powerful, but that is more of a military camp rather than a normal country as Israelis like to describe the situation themselves.

    Chris here just cannot understand the size of games that are being played, he thinks I am just talking about Greeks and Turks and their tragic stories. No, I am talking much more than that, but he refuses to see that point. He thinks when I refer to Minor Asian genocides I am just attacking the Turks... well little bit late for that Chris, I cannot save any soul of those already massacred. The point here is to fully understand why such things happened. And the explanation that "Turks are anyway savages that just wanted to kill everyone" is not good enough for me. Nor is good the explanation that Greeks liked to go conquer Anchara in 1920, when the vast majority of Greeks had voted no, the majority of military people said no, the new government rose to bring the army back, then "somehow" against all that will they continued... It is not good enough for me. I need to know why these things happened. That is why I search it more Chris. Something you do not do. When you do not search a lot you think ex. in Cyprus it was all about Greeks and Turks but no, it was about Greeks fighting against British colonialism, Turks appeared when British brought them forward to create troubles between the communities. Turkey was not even interested in Cyprus, it got involved after British pressure. This had a tragic result not only for Greeks of Cyprus but also for Greeks of Konstantinople. What can I say. Blame the Turks is easy. But I need to know more than that, do you want to know Chris or not?

    Anyway. Chris. I am not so much concerned about your views - you are welcomed to have any views you want. But I am noting your lack of will to have a proper dialogue. Point out an argument, built it and defend it. Above I have presented well my case and showed it even inside your own points! If you could not defend your arguments, then what is your point afterall?

    Complain about this comment

  • 396. At 08:50am on 07 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    IM in one of the worst parts weather-wise, WA,

    It has very humid, hot, summers and bad ice and snow storms with frigid weather in winters. Why do I not move to better climates?

    I hate change. Actually, Nik is lucky to live in Greece--warm with beautiful scenery--paradise in Europe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 397. At 10:53am on 07 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    David, I pass most of my time in northern Europe due to work (and I work there due to wife being from there...). However Greece is not that warm. It has 4 distinct seasons. Only Crete abides to your dream of warm weather (but then it is also mountainous so they have a bit of snow there too). The rest of Greece is mountainous. In winter, the climate is affected by the Black Sea and you know... Ukraine does not aid alot in keeping the Siberian winds in their place! In some remote places temperatures of -10°C are normal every year. Large cities like Athens and Thessaloniki will have often at winter temperatures below zero and every 2 years or so they will have full snow for 3-4 days. I happened to serve my military service in 2001-02 and that was the worst winter in the last 50 years. We had measured up to -22°C - I still remember 2 weeks later, when weather was getting better and better with a full 14.00hr at noon in the center of the local town being -2°C - well that was north east Greece of course.

    But all is not black! Hehe! From April to October you have lovely weather and for the most of it summer-time is usually between mid-May to mid-September.

    Greeks are blessed with a lovely country but unfortunately due to a combination of international geopolitics and their own muddled politics and lack of organisation and traditional civil-strife, they managed to turn this country to a weird place to live and work. No for working it is not good. However, if you get the chance to have a nice job (sometimes it happend!), then Greece can be one of the best places to live in the world. My homecity is Thessaloniki argued by most Greeks as the best big city to live in Greece. Imagine you live and work in the city and in 1 hour drive you have some of the best beaches, not only in Greece but in the world (trust me it is not an understatement). Most amazing thing is that you have 2,5 peninsulas (the third half is the monasteries of Athos - no big loss, the monks took the rocky land... hehe!) with some minimum 20 main beaches on each side i.e. an overall of some 20x2x2,5 = 100 and more beaches when for example visiting an average Greek island will give you 4-5 main beaches. However, unlike the islands, Chalkidici is a thing mainly for Greeks as locals get more money from local tourism than foreign tourism so it is all about summer houses, but still there are hotels for foreigners (not any big luxury ones but average...).

    When collegues ask me where to go, I tell them "If it is the first time in Greece go to Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Skiathos, Rhodes, Corfu - so as to tell relatives that you went in those typical Greek islands ans such - but if it is the second time, then go to either Chalcidiki or Crete". From the islands though, my all time favourite is Santorini - the scenery is just breath-taking but is one of the few places in Greece where beaches are not anything exceptional, they are rocky due to the volcanic material. However it is famed as an island for couples so if you are for "hunting" chose the likes of Paros or Mykonos (the 2/3rds of it are for "Essex girls"... cos the rest 1/3rd is... for Middlesex! Lesbos is great for Middlesex women too... haha, and some locals really resent this and asked the Greek courts to prohibit - in Greece - to use their name cos their little girls, Lesbians of course!, have trouble, haha! Of course the court judged that it is too late to change a nick-name given some 100 years ago correctly or wrongly...).

    Complain about this comment

  • 398. At 12:06pm on 07 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, and where is the sea not sandy, but pebbles and small bays?
    I don't like this sand flying around :o)))), and I don't like shallow sea, but where it gets deep at once.

    Neither I like open wide beaches (windy) :o)))))
    but I very much like small in-raids, how to say, small lagoons ? or small bays? a succession of small bays along a shore.

    So you can swim in one small bay, and next day in the other small bay nearby "round the corner".

    Black volcano sand is also out. It is not soft to walk upon and lie, even that those volcano shores do have a tendency to have bays.
    The ordinary "golden fine sand" is preferable to it.

    So, a succession of small bays with pebbles and deep water at once.
    Or, a succession of small bays with sand, OK, shallow water, what to do.

    Where would that be in Greece?

    Complain about this comment

  • 399. At 12:07pm on 07 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And what's your jelly-fish season?

    Complain about this comment

  • 400. At 12:08pm on 07 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Are there bity ones, with long eh? fringe, ending by blue/violet tips?

    Complain about this comment

  • 401. At 1:29pm on 07 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Hmm it could be practically anywhere. Most places have all sorts of beaches for all tastes. Greeks are rather infectuous socialites, they will mostly go to the beach to socialise, it is like a cafe for them, to show off etc.. It can be ufnny but usually foreign tourists do not find it funny there - there is a phase difference: Greeks on a beach can be from the nearby city, they can be on the beach after a hard working day, they need to meet friends and have some fun etc, they are not necessarily on vacations there to search for tranquility - which of course they do search at some time by all means! Foreign tourists are searching what they came there for, sea sun tranquility (and for some the third S, hehe), relax, fill up their batteries etc. You can find that anywhere in Greece, there is no particular place. The largest collection of continuous beaches is in the 3 peninsulas of Chaldikici, just next to my hometown Thessaloniki. Quite rare! I have a summer house in the 1st leg, but I love the 2nd which surprisingly remained much less developed - perhaps the monks from the other side have something to do with that (i.e. the church might own fields). Funnily, the 2nd leg is much less hit by summer fires (guess why!).

    Complain about this comment

  • 402. At 07:52am on 08 Apr 2010, RecentExPat wrote:

    So much for Germany as the gold standard of "consensus building"....

    I can see why both sides are upset about this little pickle the eurozone has fallen into:

    Things are getting desperate in Greece; you can sense the panic without having to be on the streets of Athens. The Greeks signed on to the single currency believing that there was a tacit understanding between them and everyone else that they might not be the model of fiscal discipline in the EU, but that good old "european solidarity" would make it o.k. for them to be part of the club. Those wealthy, highly developed countries like Germany and France would be patient with them, and help them along to live up to their euro-membership because EVERYONE was supposed to benefit from the Euro. That was the whole point of the Euro, wasn't it? There was supposed to be solidarity because everyone was in it together, sharing a desire to move forward economically, right? Well, the Greeks (still believing in this idealism of Euro-togetherness, along with a few others like France) understandably would be shocked that Germany is reluctant to help. Surely the wealthiest, and arguably most fiscally responsible member of the currency would help their friend in need, because they are the ones that FINANCIALLY CAN. Isn't that part of European friendship, helping your friends in tough times? Well, reality hurts, badly. And the Greeks, in their moment of panic, know that Germany is the only one who can help, and it seems a bit like betrayal that they are not.

    The Germans, on the other hand, are equally justified in standing their ground. Why should a country that has worked very hard and made tough fiscal choices itself save a country that has not? Why should German wealth, earned by the skill and work-ethic of Germans, suddenly go to benefit someone else who has not been nearly as productive? Why should Germany have to be the Euro's saviour when it was pressured into giving up it's blessed Deutschmark? Why should Germany have to commit itself to another long, costly endeavor to prop up another country after 20 expensive years of funding former-East Germany's rise to standards in the West? Essentially, why should Germany do something purely out of "Euro-togetherness" when it negatively affects Germany in every way except for keeping its currency stable? Surely being part of the EU means you can't act entirely out of national interests, but this is another story..... especially when there are bigger and potentially messier cases in the eurozone that could ask for the same thing in a few years time.

    Well, in my view, this "shoulda, woulda, coulda" attitude is pointless, because it won't stop this crisis from existing, and it won't erase either country from joining the Euro. Greece has to accept that Germany is taking a difficult role right now, and it should not expect it to throw all of its own interests to the wind. Germany however, as the "consensus builder" it prides itself to be, has to make the best of this crisis and make compromises. It has the right and the leverage to call most shots. It should fund some loans for Greece with help from the IMF as it wants to (provided that France swallows its pride and focuses its attention on getting its own finances to more "German" levels). Interestingly enough, Germany has a golden opportunity to "Germanize" the Eurozone if it so chooses. This fiscal scare gives it a right to lecture europeans about the dangers of living beyond means, about laking discipline with finance. It has a semi-mandate to push for new finance rules in the EU, especially rules taking a tough-line about keeping Euro membership because, after all, this single currency essentially belongs to Germany. In short, Germany should take this as an opportunity to flex its economic and too-often-un-flexed political muscle within Europe to shape it into a block on course for stability and growth.

    However, Germany needs to recognize that inevitably some price will have to be paid because it WILL have to end up financing a bail-out to some degree (which is still open for "negotiation"). And although this financial set back will give it 100% full rights to take a hard line with Greece and make it go forwards along Germany's rules, Germany will have to listen to other Euro-members more. It should definitely encourage more domestic consumption to allow countries like Greece to export more to assuage their economic pains. Germany should recognize that, whether they like it or not, are obliged to some degree of "Euro-solidarity" as part of their Euro membership.

    Germany should complain a bit less about this responsibility thrust upon it, because the Germans are lucky Greece is failing and not (yet) a large country like Spain, because THAT would be a cause for concern. Maybe the rest of Europe working on German rules would be better off anyway. And Greece, most importantly, must realize that this "bailout" comes with a price, and that price could very well be its welfare state. That is a chilly lesson that should be a warning all over Europe.

    Complain about this comment

  • 403. At 1:35pm on 08 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    RecentExpat, we had this discussed quite thoroughly in the previous messages.

    In fact, the whole game has little to do with the economies, otherwise we would be here discussing 10 years ago, but back then Europe was saying "Go Greece go, built this (useless) bridge, do this (useless) Olympic venue, etc. What happened was not anything difficult to predict. So if Greek economy was the same as bad, 10 years ago, why now? Well we have explained it thouroughly. Its geopolitical and has to do with what is going on in the greater area and the games between US and Russia that find EU in the middle, powerless and shattered. Germans opted out. Good for them, but they will find it in front of them.

    Funny thing is that we still talk about giving out money. Will German people money from their pocket if they permit the EU banks lend Greece with 3,5% interest and not the 6,5% that US - private! - banks proposed? What it is this kind of logic? No. It is just that they will make less profit out of the misery of Greeks.

    I tell you, there is a huge misanderstanding in the case of Greece - if anything there are things to do in the country and turn the situation downside up in a matter of months (proceed with the Southstream, lease Chinese a port...) but ... well... these things have been actually the ignition (not rootcause) of the crisis (not the rootcause of the economic problems! Rootcause is that Greece does not produces as pretty much all governments sought pro-actively to kill all internal production and make the country an importing nation maintaining a level of life through lending, nothing new under the sun of course. Idea is to lend countries and get their ressources or...

    ... or their "geopolitical co-operation" or even (in the case of Greece) their "geopolitical silence"...

    Complain about this comment

  • 404. At 10:00pm on 08 Apr 2010, The Mancunian wrote:

    Nik. I want to address some of the crass remarks you made in your submission (#249).

    "Western Ukraine is a part of old Poland."
    No, it is not. West Ukraine was part of the Empire of Kyiv (not Warsaw or Moscow). When the Empire fell apart, it became the Principality of Halycz. In 1278, the king of Poland invaded, imposed feudalism and an aristocracy. The population remained Ukrainian, just that they tended to be people at the bottom of the social pyramid. The Poles always remained a minority, but they were the ruling class in the region until 1939.

    "[West Ukrainian] Catholics are mostly Polish"
    Utter rubbish. Most Ukrainian Catholics are of the Byzantine or Eastern Rite, also known as Uniates.

    "They are bound to blindly resent Russians for any real or imaginary reason."
    The utter stupidity of this remark is breathtaking. The Russians have given Ukraine serfdom, two world wars (plus the invasions and occupations that went with them), a civil war, a catastrophic famine, a revolution and the totalitarian police state. Nik, are you too stupid and arrogant to understand that, as a result, Ukrainians might be a teeny-weeny bit wary of foreigners, especially of Germans, Poles and Russians?

    "Dneiper is the spelling?"
    No, it's Dnipro.

    "The eastern part is Russia."
    That remark reminds me of the scene in the film "Gandhi", where a pompous British officer announces to the Mahatma, "India IS British." You can argue that India was not invaded by Britain until the 18th century but Russia did not invade Ukraine until the same century. For centuries, Greece was Turkish. Even today, continentals still refer to Wales and Scotland as "England" rather than Britain.

    "Stalin gave [East] Ukraine to Ukraine." Another moronic remark. The Ukraine SSR was in existence long before Stalin seized power. Between his forced collectivisation of the 1930s and his 1944 plan for the complete ethnic cleansing of Ukraine of its Ukrainian population, you should be saying that rather than create Ukraine, he definitely wanted to destroy it. He was only stopped by the size of the country's population. By the way, Crimea was transferred after his death and its population is Turkic, not Ukrainian or Russian.

    "Kiev was the first Russian capital." Let's make one thing clear. The word "Russian" only came into use in the 18th century, when Peter the Great claimed to be the spiritual heir of the Princes of Kyiv (Kiev if you prefer). The Swedish vikings who founded Kyiv (named after a viking prince called Kiy) called themselves the Rus. Most Slavic languages (except, surprise, surprise, Russian) make a clear distinction between the Ruski (the viking-Slavs) and the Rosiyski (the modern day Russians). Before Peter, his people called themselves Muscovites. By the way, Nik, in the 9th/10th centuries, the Slavic tribes in Russia fiercely resisted Greek language and influence and it took about a hundred years of hard campaigning by their Ukrainian neighbours to impose Greek Orthodoxy on Russia.

    "Moscow and Novgorod kept on fighting both Mongols and Turks." They did so as Muscovites and Novgorodians, not as Russians.

    "Ukrainians remained for centuries under [Turkish] slavery". Your point ignores the repression of medieval Polish feudalism, a system so repressive that tens of thousands fled INTO Ottoman Turkish Ukraine, learned the horsemanship and military tactics of the Turks and became the cossacks. You also ignore the fact that in the cossack rebellion of 1648, the Ukrainians were allied to the Turks and defeated the Polish king. It was at this time that the Turks offered to recognise a semi-independent Ukraine and used the word "Ukraine" in diplomatic letters. When the Ukrainians failed to agree terms with the Turks, the latter switched sides and allied themselves with Poland and defeated the Ukrainians in battle. Desperate for allies, the Ukrainians turned to the Princes of Muscovy, thus tying East Ukraine to Moscow. The Ukrainians promised allegiance to Moscow. Moscow promised military aid and to respect local democracy and traditions. After defeating the Poles and Turks, Moscow then sought to break their treaty and impose serfdom, leading to the 1658 battle of Konotop (a Ukrainian Bannockburn) and a 50-year respite. In 1708, Peter the Great laid waste to Eastern Ukraine and imposed serfdom. It is hardly surprising that the East rose in revolt but was defeated at the 1709 battle of Poltava (a Ukrainian Culloden). Peter's successors tightened the noose of serfdom and destroyed the remaining free cossack communities. To describe this as "liberating them and welcoming them to the civilised world" is beneath contempt.

    "Russia in the 20th century incorporated parts of Poland". A slight understatement. In the 1947 Operation Wisla, they organised a systematic program of ethnic cleansing. Poles in Soviet Ukraine were sent to Poland. Ukrainians in communist Poland were sent to East Germany.

    "Polish nationals mixed their voices with Ukrainian pro-autonomists to present a Ukrainian front." Utter rubbish, Nik. Polish nationalists, especially those of the far right, are as hostile to Ukrainian freedom as you appear to be.

    "I would suggest to people to know what they are talking about before saying it."
    Nik, why don't you practice what you preach?

    Complain about this comment

  • 405. At 00:37am on 09 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Empire of Kyiv?
    Well, we've heard Ukrainians came up with a Ukrainian world globe :o))))))))), but even in the wildest dreams, looking back at times prince Igor and prince Oleg, Russians don't refer to those times as "Kyiv Empire". Tripolje - that's, OK, a thing. But Kiev times?

    Nik, relax. That's all after-effects of Jushenko's programme for national self-indentification. Best minds were working on it. You'll drown in details.

    Complain about this comment

  • 406. At 01:44am on 09 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "The Russians have given Ukraine serfdom, two world wars (plus the invasions and occupations that went with them), a civil war, a catastrophic famine, a revolution and the totalitarian police state".

    Serfdom? To cossacks? Who ever saw a cossack a serf?

    Two world wars?
    I thought in the first one Ukraine was part of the Empire. With benefits come also obligations to serve in the army. Sure Ukrainian idea is only to collect fruit and vegetables :o)))) and never be soldiers - this I understand. But I still think a Ukrainian would complain about WW1 in this case to wrong quarters :o))))))

    The 2nd WW - Russia GAVE Ukraine? Otherwise they won't be affected?
    A Ukrainian nationalist mind only could come down to such a conclusion. Ukrainians won't be affected?

    The spelling of Dnieper depends on what language you use.
    In Russian it's Dnepr.

    "(Stalin's) plan for the complete ethnic cleansing of Ukraine of its Ukrainian population.. stopped only by the size of the population "
    Yeah. The man was always "planning". Never doing what he wants. All have noticed his undecisiveness and hesitant hand in fortunes' of nations affairs.

    "Crimea was transferred after his death and its population is Turkic"
    Shall we look into percentages of nationalities there, by year?
    (Just for the record, because you never know what will settle down :o)))): Crimea was given by Khrusch to Ukraine as a present, By the Ukrainian General Secretary of The Communist Party of the USSR, to put dots above i :o))), at which point of the "transfer" it was a part of the RUSSIAN Soviet Socialist republic.

    "Most Slavic languages (except, surprise, surprise, Russian) make a clear distinction between the Ruski (the viking-Slavs) and the Rosiyski (the modern day Russians)"

    ???????
    I've got both words in my native Russian. I think both words were always there. Or, well, for a couple of centuries, if to think about literature, books, granted.
    Never worried about that, anyway. Russky - is Russian Russian. Rossijsky - is Russian Empire.

    For that matter, I don't know when the word "Russian" :o)))) appeared in English, meaning both, "Russian Russian" and Russian Empire Russian. And don't bother. Russky is enough for me. Rossijsky is PC word to describe empire citizens.

    Only "russky" doesn't mean to me "viking-slavs". That can be Ukrainian new hallucunation, that programme :o)))), mis-placing their brains. Or a Mancunian personal understanding of the history.

    Rus was always there.
    The whole idea of "civilised vikings" - founders of Kyiv :o)))))) from scratch :o))))) - came to Russia in one parcel in 1780.
    To say nothing these mysterious vikings first resided in Old Ladoga (close to us here, in St. Pete), then in Novgorod, and only as the third stop-over :o))))) finally dragged themselves to "Kyiv" :o))))))))

    The mysterious vikings appeared on stage courtesy of Catherine the Great, Sophie Auguste Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg :o))))), to be more exact. She thought the empire is perfect, but sadly lacks any connection to Europe, and other folks don't see her as their equal. An empress - but of what? She wanted something, how to say, un-clear what, but that Russia is Europe :o)))), ASAP :o))))) somehow anyhow :o)))))

    And so Sophie Auguste Friederike the Great etc. imported three historians, from Germany, can look up glorious names. Who sat down :o))), thought very hard :o))))) and came up with a solution to her problem. Russia became Europe! In half a year! The Russian tsars got a carte blanche and a direct ticket of entry into the European monarchs' family. Even Ivan the Terrible improved a bit, as a miracle :o))))

    The Russian tsars were not Russian! That was the elegant solution. But descendants of vikings!

    Now, must say, to the German historians' credit in Germany - they didn't buy into that idea. The fix and the miracle was, how to say, way to immediate :o)))), and way too disagreeable, with the history of Russia as Europe knew it. For about a century German historians at home battled with the sudden piece of Russian luck :o))))))

    That's all there is.

    Before Ukrainian nationalists, and anyone sympathising with them, advertise "Kiev = vikings = true Ukrainians = true Europeans" (while Russia is "somewhere in the North :o))))", away off the great Ukrainian development programme through the past thousand years :o))))))) - they'd better take own advice and devote a teeny weeny more time to fabricationg "Ukrainian history" as one that has nothing to do with "the Russian one".
    To be able to come up with the quality stuff, and not the one that any passing by in the blog Russian can somersault in 5 minutes.

    It is a hard task indeed, to divorce, by the power of will, Russian and Ukrainian history. How to split princes Oleg and Igor and Valdimir the Clear Sun oj oj oj I am not jealous with the work.

    I happen to have a friend, whose letterhead papers modestly state "prince and princess this and that" :o)))) (I even borrowed some :o)))), and whose family tree is a row of books on the shelf in English, French, German and in Russian of course.
    (Ukrainian is missing. aj jai iaj :o(

    Well his fam tree in those books simply and modestly starts from comrade Rurik :o)))))) - that very true and only "European" :o)))), "the Ukrainian Rus Viking" :o)))) as the Mancunian would love you to believe.
    Must say it is in brackets and with the question mark, though :o))))
    but then it improves into normal script, Igor and Oleg and all you wish. Vsevolod the Big Nest, and Comrade Monomakh :o)))), and Jury Dolgoruky founder fo Moscow, all who you want are there.

    His family happended to rule Russia, a little bit :o)))), from times immemorial.

    A nice man; the only problem Mancunian would find with him - the family never knew they are "Ukrainians" :o)))))
    Somehow they (and he is not the only one in my collection of acquaintance :o)))) think themselves "russky".

    Neither when they sat in Novgorod they were feeling particulary "Ukrainian", nor when in "Kyiv" :o))), nor in Moscow :o)))))

    I am not sure he'd accept it gracefully :o)))) if be called one such :o)))))))

    But then of course Mancunian can try his hand on any of the off-spring of the first dynasty, "the real vikings", explain them they are real Ukrainian stuff.



    Complain about this comment

  • 407. At 02:21am on 09 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Miller, Bayer, Schletser.

    Complain about this comment

  • 408. At 02:24am on 09 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Headed Russian Academy of Sciences at Catherine II. Made Rurik a viking.

    Complain about this comment

  • 409. At 03:07am on 09 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And in vain you appeal to Nik that Russians were on strike against church service conducted in Greek, while mythical "Ukrainians", in "Kyiv", were all for it.

    First of all, the dear "on the edge" "Ukrainian" definition appeared together with the appearance of the Polish-Lithuanian tsardom.
    Before that I am sorry :o)))) there was only "Rus" in Kiev.

    Now when the Russians or Rus in Kiev were baptised, nobody was exactly asking them :o))))), if they are for or against it :o)))). Can't say that "Kyiv" :o))))) sorry can't not laugh when writing it :o))))
    embraced Christianity with full heart :o)))

    Vladimir the Clear Sun simply commanded the town to take a swim in the Dnieper river in one go :o)))) That was it.

    (I read somewhere that only by extraordinary luck :o)))) we have not all ended up as Muslims, because Valdimir was pondering over which religion to choose, and was strongly inclined towards taking Islam, as not a bad form of uniting folks and strengthening the state power. But then someone told him that you can't drink mead in that religion, anti-alcoholics all over :o))))

    At which point he exclaimed "Veselie Rusi est pitie!" / Fun of Russia is drinking! and opted for Christianity as allowing mead. ) :o)))))

    What the Greek language had to do in the whole Rus-Christianisation affair, was that the brand new great religion had its commanding heights in Konstantinopol and Rome, and Rus was quite a perepherie district to that, all talking slav.

    Konstantinopol and Rome were absolutely against church service be done in slav. Snobbed us, to put it simply :o))))

    Not us only, germanics were not allowed either, many new admirers of Christianity in Europe appealed in vain.

    Only Latin was found fit, as far as I remember, to broadcast church service (and compose church sermons) (and keep church books), the whole thing, and Greek. I think there was a third tongue in the "yes" category, I strongly remember there were 3 "yes" originally.

    So two brothers, Cyrill and Methodius, (nee Konstantin the Philospher and Mikhail) (some say from Saloniki some say from Makedonia) (was it the same in 880 something?)(many say both were Bulgarians born in Saloniki) - they did a great thing for us. Well, not for us, for slavs, in general.
    They styled the existing slav "a-la-Greece" thus creating a new language, exclusively for Christian church service. Added Greek letters to the slav base, put Greek falls/stresses in words, can read up on the improvement system. That was an artificial tongue, no body slav in his right mind :o))))) talked it in that time in everyday life, and ever after. I am sorry Generalissimo, that was a great new language, but focused on church affairs.

    The whole church service was conducted in it for a thousand years ever after, all books there are in Christianity were translated into this interesting language for slavs. Russian Orthodox church still speaks and writes it (that's why we never understood our church service much :o))))
    but like it, for consistency :o))))
    as to ordinary Russian - Peter the 1st cut off away all Greek letters away from the church tongue back away off, which resulted in coming back to simple slav.

    Now, what Cyrill and Methodius did was a great acheivement and a break-through, as even Greek-styled, it was still in the base of it slav, therefore understandable for slavs all over around, and it was a one-off exception that they managed to campaign, lobby and persuade Konstantinopol and Rome that slavs have in their Christian service something understandable :o)))) More or less.

    Other nations were far less lucky and had to use in church writing, which was for a long time most of the bookish writing, clean Latin, in spite of whatever they spoke habitually at their respective European homes.

    Complain about this comment

  • 410. At 07:25am on 10 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Web Alice,

    There is a book called "Byzantium," here. It is historical fiction. In it, an Irish monk around 1000AD is assigned with a mission to take a book of Kells to the Great Orthodox Byzantine Church in Constantinople as a gift.

    It is an epic book, and the first thing to happen to the Irish monk is to be kidnapped by a group (gang?) of Norse Vikings who are plundering the coast of France.

    He finally gets to Constantinople about a third of the way through and the Vikings have been reduced to about 40 berserkers on a boat and are stopped by the Great Harbor Chain of Constantinople and have to bribe their way in. (to steal from the Church....)I lost interest, but it was pretty decent ...I just had other things to do.

    BUT, they went thru Kiev and sailed down the Volga? or some Russian river. I think the name of the book is Byzantium (probably why I the checked the book out from a library)

    The idea of Byzantium is very interesting but, I know little about the civilization there. I get the impression that when Caesar Constantine was very much on the way towards recapturing the Roman Empire...the Eastern Empire had a bout of plague that killed more than half of the population (more than a milllion) and therefore it became eventually just Byzantium...but hmmm

    It seems There was Much More to It Than That as Your Russia and Nik's Greece histories and culture show us today....See Americans are ignorant of Eastern European history because of the "Cold War and Iron Curtain."

    Maybe that Iron Curtain really was an effective wall against learning... for Americans ... we really are not that stuupid (just ignorant).

    Complain about this comment

  • 411. At 12:25pm on 10 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re404: The Mancunian, thanx for the interesting comments, especially on the relation of Polish and Ukrainians. In relation to the Kiev medieval Empire permit me to pinpoint that the later Czars in Moscow considered to be a continuation of that state. In anyway, all the affair was seen that the south was invaded by the violent Mongols and aristocracy and many people feld to the free north to continue the struggle. If anything it was Ukrainians that called in their brother Russians to save them from Mongol violence.

    Mancunian you cannot argue about Russia giving you WWII... perhaps they were responsible too for Crimean war and Napoleontian wars? This is simply not logical. Also, the famine and deaths under USSR cannot be held up to Russians since the bulk of the communist regime was non-Russian and down to the basics, it had killed 10 times more Russians than Ukrainians - if anything it is the Russians that should complain first.

    On the other hand, your comments about eastern Ukraine do not convince me. Ukraine as it is, is the federal state of Ukraine inside USSR. It is not the historic Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine is simply Russia. The 40% of Ukrainian citizens are self-identifying as Russians and these are not recent immigrants. Correct me if I am wrong, I am still interested in your pointview.

    Re409: WA, first, there is no Thessaloniki or Macedonia. Please please please that is my very own region!!!!! Thessaloniki is a city that is in the center of the region of Macedonia. Macedonia is a (very small for Russian standards!) Greek region that is coastal and is on the north western corner of the Aegean. There is no other Macedonia. Historically, Macedonia reached up to thin line inside FYROM, some kilometers. But FYROM was NEVER Macedonia, in fact it was the land that hosted all the enemies of Greeks. Macedonia is Greece much more than Athens or Sparta and that is something that you have to understand it for good. It was not up to the late 19th century when Bulgarians and Serbians trying to expand southwards that named it like that - Serbians to try and cut a part from the Bulgarian lands and possibly expand to the Greek south and Bulgarians trying to expand to the Greek south. That is why they use the name for lands that are not Greek and have nothing to do with the real Macedonia. and it is not something difficult to understand - as it is not difficult to understand that modern superpowers (similarly to the superpowers of the late 19th and early 20th century) love the idea of all that mess created by this artificial state that is a constant threat to the stability of the whole region with the little coca cola state amazingly demanding lands from historic countries like Bulgaria and Greece.

    Cyril and Method were apparently of Greek father and Slavic mother (not Bulgarian or Serbian) born in a village near Veroia, in Macedonia. Those Slavs there were financial immigrants working in the farms of Greeks. They were a minority of about 10% and had nothing to do with Macedonia as a Greek region. Cyril and Methodius while due to their mothers' ancestry were very friendly to Slavs, certainly considered themselves as Roman citizens and would associate more easily themselves to Greeks rather than Slavs. You have to note that their job was in full line with the policy of Konstantinople that was to christianise the Slavs in their own language. The myth that Konstantinople imposed Greek is not correct: although they would be orthodox priests that would insist in retaining the same language, the Byzantines were not that vertical on that and had no problem with the use of the Slavic language. The church was most of the times under the power of the Emperor (unlike what was the case in the west), and the interests of the Emperor were to have quick results in terms of the christianisation (and thus approaching) of Slavs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 412. At 12:29pm on 10 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    David, if US citizens are ignorant, they are not more ignorant than what we are about American history for example.

    Complain about this comment

  • 413. At 9:02pm on 10 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Nik, I don't know what is "FYROM". I told you before, but must be we write so much you skipped it. Nothing like "Fyrom" in Russian history related to old times was ever observed.

    Somehow we say "Saloniki". Must be difficult to add "Thessa":o)
    Or do you mean there are 2 of them????
    I thought it is Saloniki. Mum also knows only one and says it's a port.

    Complain about this comment

  • 414. At 9:49pm on 10 Apr 2010, generalissimo wrote:

    @ 413 WA
    Ask the neighbours from the next door darling. They know better.
    FYROM means, Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia. A strange country isn’t it? Two thirds are of Bulgarian origin; the rest are Albanians…
    Alice, how about a trip to Thessaloniki? On my expense. Shall meet you with Nik.

    Complain about this comment

  • 415. At 10:30pm on 10 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Hearty, generouslissimo, :o)
    Thank you, I would love to. I read before, you also wrote. but forgot, with all these disasters. I am really afraid I am really un-travellable, the dog. Nobody, to leave him with, no dog -sitters here. Real bad. I haven't been at sun and sea, since? ? 200? 1996, approximately. real bad. and every year before that, all my life :o) since age of 1 - 1 month at sea. will do me a world of good, you reasoned rightly. would adore to go. I will think. but nearly hopeless. for friendly meetings, though - White Nights :o), you know. 100 times easier for me to invite you with Nik to St. Pete. ? think about that as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 416. At 05:52am on 11 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    If I ever go go Greece, Im going to be a typical tourist and visit the Oracle, the Parthenon, whatever is historical...

    then sit on the beach or by a pool and look at hairy Eastern European men (I hope they have hair)

    Anywayyy, what a great place to visit...and one has money when one gets older...it piles up....if lucky and prudent....fantasy fantasy ...and I've been upholding my looks ..so to speak...as it were :)

    I'm there :) yahoo:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 417. At 05:59am on 11 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    sorry didnt mean to gross anyone out....providing a hostile environment...I too have been indoctrinated ...no sex while at work...just pleasant neutral subjects...so sorry again for expressing emotion:)

    Complain about this comment

  • 418. At 08:03am on 11 Apr 2010, David wrote:

    Nik,

    Tell me if Byzantium was a continuation of the Greek empire/state until the Turkish people invaded"????

    Complain about this comment

  • 419. At 02:33am on 12 Apr 2010, Nik wrote:

    David, there was never any notion of "Greek" state up to 1821. In ancient times the notion of statehood and of nationhood were completely different. For them a nation did not have to belong in the same state all together. As much reasonable as you not buying the same insurance as your father! For the ancient Greeks, nationhood was something related to the omoaimon, the omoglosson & the omothriskon (same blood, same language, same religion). But nothing more than that. There were efforts to unite all that bunch of inter-warring tribes. The mythic campaign against Troy might had been such - though note that Homer never said Troyans were non-Greeks, on the contrary everything on them is Greek (ancestry, language, names, religion, customs & traditions etc.), nontheless later Greeks used the poem as an example of Greeks being united under a common banner. Rare, as that is the most difficult thing to have. If anything Greeks were NEVER united, and we have by now accepted this trait of our tribe, we cannot be united. There were various efforts to unite the Greek tribes. During Persian warsin 492-479 B.C. both Athenians and Spartans tried to present themselves as the leaders of all Greeks (yet there was a Greek city, Syracuse, in south Italy, that dwarfed them both and could make war against both and crash them if it was not threatened by another big, not Greek though, city, of Carthage) then they went on a 50 years cold war up to starting at last the war in 430 B.C. Sparta won but did not manage to rule over Greeks being too exhausted, Thebes emerged tried to do so, then Thessalians tried to do so (a story that is forgotten), finally their neighbours Macedonians, the Greeks the least considered for such a task up to then, managed to get strong enough to challenge all other Greeks, beat them and finally unite them. However, even then, Greeks were united as allies but not under 1 common state.

    The first time Greeks were united in their history under a common state, that was in the Roman Empire. It should had been expected. Anyway, Greeks were also the first nation after Romans to become fully Roman citizens long before Emperor Caracala gave citizenship to all people inside the Empire in 212 A.D. That meant that Greeks were of the most pro-Roman elements inside the Empire much more than others. In fact, Greeks while reticent in the beginning, they grew to consider Romans as Greeks as much as Romans grew to consider themselves as Greeks - you have to note that the name itself of the city is a greek name while half the patricians traced their ancestry to Greek families of the early archaic times (and that is why always since those times patricians learnt Greek as their second first language), so all that should not be something difficult to imagine today (that we unfortunately like to divide these two, into 2 separate entities). That is not to say that Italians were Greeks and Greeks Italians of course, but to explain why these two had stronger ties than merely sharing common religion. Even back then writers noted how Latin language seemed to trace at least partially to Greek.

    In anyway, when the Empire got divided, the Western part soon fell to invasions, the Eastern continued as the Roman Empire with Constantinople (the ancient city of Byzantium) as its capital and under a christian religion. This is the Byzantine Empire

    Now there are 1000 of misconceptions about this Empire. First, you will be amazed to know that the term "Byzantine Empire" did not exist back then. In fact people would need to go back to their books to be reminded that in ancient times, Constantinople was a colony of the city of Megara called Byzantio after its founder Byzas (that is a funny name in Greek!). For people back then, that was the Roman Empire. Them, they were Romans. The term "Byzantine" appeared only in the 18th century, first by Enlightment writers in France, writers that however were politically positioned against this Empire and tried to separate its history from the earlier Roman Empire as much as possible, thus they coined this term.

    Of course, this Eastern Roman Empire, or simply "Roman Empire" as it was known back then was also called by the catholics as "Greek-Roman Empire" or "Greek Empire", that after the escalation of the crisis between the catholics and the orthodox inside the " One Orthodox, Catholic Church of Jesus Christ" as was the initial title of the church thus refering to the fact that the Eastern Roman Empire was habitated and run in majority by Greeks.

    (ok, got it, now lets call them Byzantine Empire for simplicity)... Byzantines themselves refered to themselves as Romans but that was not an ethnic term, it was a term of citizenship. From there one they had their localities. The ethnic notion was suppressed by the church very violently. Remember the fights between "christians" and "ethnikoi" (who were the "ethnikoi" if not the Greek nationalists!).. a fight that took part between 400 and 600 A.D. and which ended up with the christianisation of the vast majority of Greeks who of course brought in all their beloved idols as statues, icons and such and which led to the second huge fight between iconophiles and iconolasts between 700 and 900 A.D. - i.e. the inonoclast turmoil was a continuation of the christian-nationalists fight obviously. Of course, while the Byzantine Empire was populated mostly by Greeks and then by largely hellenised ex. Minor Asian people, it remained always a multinational Empire containing a large number of people out of which the most prominent had been the Armenians and the Kappadocians. In fact, Armenians had been so prominent in the Empire that they managed to actually give more military generals and thus more Emperors than Greeks - to the point that if someone should give a national term to the Byzantine Empire he should rather call it the Greek-Armenian Empire. However note that the two most prominent Armenian Emperors Heraclius and Basil II were very much Greeks too - Heraclius made Greek the first language of the Empire above Latin and it is thanx to him that the Empire took a definite Greek colour while Basil II was only of Armenian origins and must had identified himself more as a Greek than as Armenian.

    Now, another huge misconception is that the Empire fell to the invasion of Turkish people. This cannot be more than wrong. The Empire did not fall in 1453 but in 1204. Since the death of Basil II, when the Empire had reached the maximum of its strength, inner forces worked to deconstruct it for the simple reason of defend family feudal interests. Byzantine aristocratic families fed up being at the mercy of "lowly" (as they considered) military people, commoners rising up the echelons, they intermarried with North Italian families, they transferred their money in North Italy, namely Venice and Genoa where they started building ships while at the same time they manipulated politics so that the Emperor give North Italians tax benefits. In fact, Byzantine aristocrats used Venice and Genoa as fiscal paradises!!! Note that up to 1050 South Italy is a part of the Empire (that is why it could not be used in the same way as Genoa and Venice despite being more developed up to then). All that while these aristocrats work to deconstruct the army so that its importance diminuishes inside the Empire. It is at that time when Normand raides take Sicily & South Italy and Turkish Seljuk tribes invade Eastern Minor Asia. The Komnenian Emperors, issued from the these Italo-Byzantine aristocrat families, Komnenians and Doukes, actually wanted Turkish people inside Eastern and central Minor Asia, so as to control these lands for their own benefits since the Turks permitted an almost-tax-free commerce, then Italians did it tax-free while Byzantine Empire did not have to support financially all these lost territories and thus these Byzantine families gained massive profits out of it. Crusades (that most people think was a western initiative) was in fact a Byzantine initiative of the Komnenians that thought they could use the religion trick to have an extra-cheap army of illiterate fanatic westerners. Later Komnenians tried to correct the situation as it started spiraling out of their control but it was of course too late as by 1150 A.D. actually the 1/4th of Constantinople and all major Byzantine cities, were in fact Italians (or often orthodox Greeks turning to calling themselves catholic Italians to save some money from the taxe collector... - note back then the orthodox-catholic thingie was not as pronounced as the schism was fresh and people would not think much of it anyway). By 1204, the city that had resisted the most harsh attacks from the most dangerous armies (including Arabs, Bulgarians and Avaro-Mongols), fell to a lowly army of a wandering bunch of crusaders (obviously by treason, as the 1/3rd of the population inside supported the crusaders outside!!!).

    After 1204 A.D. the Empire was broken in several parts, some little catholic states (like the Latin state of Constantinople, the Latin state of Thessaloniki, the Latin state of Athens), some bigger Byzantine-successor states: the state of Nicea (Minor Asia, west coast), the state of Pontus (Minor Asia, north coast) and the state of Epirus (modern day western Greece and Albania - at that time Albanians were just descending from Montenegro to modern day Albania). The bulk of Eastern and Central Minor Asia were under the Turkish Seljuk control but them too like christians were divided under different leaders creating a situation where everyone fought everyone, i.e. christians fought muslims and muslims christians then christians fought christians, Latin & Frankish catholics against Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian orthodox, but then also Latin/Frankish catholics against Latin/Frankish Catholics, Greek orthodox against Serbian orthodox, then Greek orthodox against Greek orthodox all that while muslims were fighting against muslsims & Turkish Seljuks were fighting against Turkish Seljuks and any other combination of Turkish tribes. What is even more funny is that during that tumultuous period between 1204 and 1453, a very large number of christian Minor Asians (mostly hellenic speaking orthodox people of eastern and central Minor Asia) became first muslims and their second generation became fully turkish speaking muslims, while a small number of original Seljuk Turks became surprisingly christians - all that while the leaders of all these people changed their allegiances according to their interests in the same way those Byzantine aristocrats had become "North Italians".

    In the second half of the 14th century, the Greeks (who had liberated Constantinople in 1253) were in war against the expanding Serbians and brought in the European side for the first time muslim mercenaries. As the Greek political power collapsed these muslim mercenaries took over as regional feudal lords but their power would be shortlived but then at the same time in minor Asia a local tribe of Turks, called Ottomans rose to prominence calling all muslims to unite under their banner having as a target to conquer Constantinople from christians. And they finally did very belatedly, in 1453 (and again, after treason - as this city could not fall easily otherwise).

    So your question is answered:

    Byzantine Empire was not exactly Greek but largely populated and run by Greeks. It should rather be seen as an Eastern Roman Empire that was run mainly by Greeks and Armenians as well as many other people too. The Byzantine Empire fell to catholic Crusaders of the 4th crusade and the main reason was internal Byzantine politics. Contrary to common belief Turkish tribes did not cause any demise of the Byzantine Empire but were rather the result of this process of deconstruction of the Empire by its own oligarchies. It is a common belief even among modern Turks that original Turkish tribes were Mongolic tribes, and that when they enterred they provoked a huge wave of islamisation of the people of eastern and central Minor Asia which gave the Turks of 1453. There are however hints that even as early as 1173 A.D. the bulk of the Turkish armies were local Minor Asian (islamified or not) men. Hence, we should see Turks rather as a military oligrachy enterring the politics of the region rather than any immigration of people from the steppes. That does not mean that people from the steppes did not arrive in Minor Asia - in fact they continued to arrive even after 1453 (actually more arrived in eastern Minor Asia in the 1500s than the earlier original ones!).

    Quite complicated eh? Note though that things are more simply as they sound.

    Complain about this comment

  • 420. At 00:12am on 14 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    to add I think some mongols got relocated westward as they got un-happy with Russians on the east side :o(

    after Russian knyaz -es! :o))) ? knight-s
    say, an assortment of local prince-es :o))) on horse-es :o))) (I think I got stuck :o) figured out they can give mongols a fight if get together.

    mongols were slightly kind of pushed out, from the steppe :o)
    Had to get squeesed out somewhere. Like tooth-paste. :o))))
    The climate became un-interesting :o))), steppe wind not what it used to be :o)))), general atmosphere, how to say, that they are unwelcome.

    Complain about this comment

  • 421. At 00:16am on 14 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, the steppe ecology changed for the tatars for worse :o))), after Kulikovo battle. Kulikovo field battle.
    Our first Stalingrad, to put it simply.
    No, second.

    Anyway Kazan + inhabitants we left for ourselves, Tatarstan.
    As a souvenir. Memorabilia status, for Russians.

    Complain about this comment

  • 422. At 01:23am on 14 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David,
    I am hesitant whether to go now, into how come that Rome got itself 2 admirers, both eager to continue to be "the new Rome" (after the original got collapsed :o))))

    resulting in Chris Camp, for example, thinking himself to be "a true Roman" :o)))) oj. to say nothing of Jukks :o))))
    Latin string.

    and Eastern churches, thinking themselves to be "true Romans", and their congregations - the only real off-spring, inheriting the values of the "original Rome" (that got collapsed :o)))).

    That original Rome, one would think, was really made of rubber :o)))), stretchable :o)))), and bottomless with its values.

    As 2 different strings simultaneously announced themselves to be "the only real ancestor thing" :o))), totally despising the "wrong side other" (ugh) - and each of them - mind it, honestly believed they rule the whole world.

    Like, pretended the other one doesn't exist. (Jukks still does, he is a good sample :o))))

    Looked through. Like through a transparent well washed window.

    It's not "Byzantium versus Rome", as Nik correctly pointed out.
    It's worse :o)))), 2 Romes against each other.

    Have you seen me and Chris Camp quarreling?
    That's 2 Romes conceptions, who don't recognise each other's existence.

    No news, really :o))))
    Plus-minus 500 years, pea-nuts :o))))
    When two "original Romes" meet each other. In a blog.

    That's echo, you should understand it.

    One side is German-Roman-Latin eh, combination. Pope. German emperors. That kind of thing.
    I really don't know :o))), because "them", you know - they did not exist :o)))))

    The other side was first centered on Konstantinopol (as "the second Rome") - then Moscow.

    Well, won't speak for all around :o))))) Some still crave for the "second Rome"..../Paleolog dynasty time, the last dynasty of Konstantinopol, 2nd "Rome". Paleologs ruled for 200 centuries or may be 250, the longest-lasting Konstantinopol ruling fam.
    And the last rulers of the city (the "second Rome", the later nick-name)

    Moscow side kept looking up to Konstantinopol-2nd Rome for quite a long time as well. As an ideal for orientation, the real values carrier, continuation of Rome-1.

    But at some point got bored with it :o)))) Simply, fed up. :o)))
    We quarreled at some point, Russians with Konstantinopol, I think. Not gravely totally entirely, but, how tio say, some relations were undermined. :o)))) Forgot what about :o(
    May be a wrong telegram :o) or some protokol violated :o)

    Some diplomatic faux pax. pac.? False eh, step.
    Then it became un-important, as the 2nd Rome, Konstantinopol, also, how to say, :o)))) kicked the bucket :o))))

    The situation became real bad. 1st Rome gone. 2nd Rome gone. No nothing as best demonstrated practices around :o)))) Where the world is going to :o)))) A kind of a vacuum.
    ?

    Still, one thing, of the 2d Rome, Russia did export home :o)
    Saved from the fire :o)
    As a souvenir :o)))
    The niece, of the last Emperor, of Rome-2.

    He uncle was virtually killed on the Konstantinopol wall :o(, in open combat, with the invaders.

    (The wall, by the way, was aj jai jai. Rotten. Nick, make a mental correction for why Konstantinopol fell. 100%. We've got memoirs, the last Konsti ruler, Paleolog (natutally) was standing on the wall, and it was sliding down, falling, under his weight. To say nothing of the protective gear weaponry weight. All damn rotten throughout a wall)
    (We remember. this happens. one has to watch out, or else, you know - there is a 2nd Rome - there is not.
    watch my hand :o))))

    So, Konstantinopol-Rome 2 gone, but a niece Moscow has got :o)
    And Russian tsar Ivan (naturally :o)) married her.
    And kind of mentally grabatised the idea of the empire. Roman Empire edition No 3!

    We don't think actually he was that clever hinmself. It was the girl :o))) Mis-placing her hsuband's brains out :o)))
    Before that he was a simple ordinary tsar, heaps like that around - and with such a wife he began thinking about something, how to say, more advanced :o)))), for the times. Different ideas on business model organisation.
    Plus she brought with the library. Plus friends and relatives and advisers and ideas. A very active girl :o)))

    And that's how Russia fell for the "empire business" idea.

    From those medieval times on, attention:

    "Moscow is third Rome, first and second have fallen, and the fourth there won't be."

    Simple and elegant slogan. We live with it (in Rome. You didn't know Sheremetevo airport is Rome-3 ? :o))))) for these, let me see, 1400 approx - to 2010. 600 years already, with the capital being "the third Rome".

    Only old Jukks has problems recognising it. Not morally ready yet. Give another 600 years and he will be alright.

    Anyway here you'll find the whole memorabilia, Russian two-headed eagle is our copy of the Paleolog last Konstantinopol dynasty emblem,
    Russian tsar and emperors of all calibres got christened for the tsardom duty in Monomakh hat exclusively (Konstantinopol heritage fund :o))))
    Russian Navy Andrew's flag is nothing else but Paleolog last dynasty (slightly improved by us :o) flag.

    And overall you can find here lots of souvenirs :o)))), kept most carefully.
    To say nothing of the whole Russian church service maintained one-to-one to the Paleolog top standards. Clothes, procedures, :o)))) - it never reminded you anything? No? Didn't look , say, not exactly this modern day style? :o)))))

    That's because you clean forgot what it was, David. You are on the wrong "Rome" admierer's side :o( How could poor you know?
    :o))))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 423. At 01:46am on 14 Apr 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The original Rome (that collapsed :o)) didn't leave a Will, that's the problem. :o)

    And the two heirs, kind of, quarrreled :o))))
    Who's the real one.

    Church forked into 2 branches, then East and West division, things.

    The Germanic-Latin-Pope group - (vivid sample Jukks. Though how he managed to build it up :o)))), is beyond me. No, that's surrealism.)

    Say, Chris Arta, as a sample, group. Those tend to view themselves as heirs straight to Rome-1.
    They dismiss the importance and existence of Rome-2 (Konstantinopol).
    Kind of know, that it existed :o)))) rather, can't deny :o))))
    but view it as a tra la la , not really a second Rome, but, just , eh, something.

    Because we grabatised it all! :o))))) The other gang. The Konstantinopol heritage. So, green are the grapes :o)))) attitude, and all.

    At max, they erect monuments to Emperor Konstantine. :o) Here and there, scattered. :o) But don't go further. A good solid monument :o))) - what else to want, of a "thing" ? :o)))))

    They tend to tease us (it's a teaser :o) - "Bysantiums". A nick-name. Nik-name :o)))))

    The other gang (samples Nik and me) tend to have a soft place in heart for Rome-2.
    They don't hop over at once to Rome-3 idea, but give a credit to Rome-2 times.

    We are consequtive bears :o))))), as I pointed out several times.

    Where is, by the way, gang-1 Rome-3 I am at a loss :o(
    Or, say, even Rome-2. To keep proper numbering.
    I think they are democracts, lack the centre.
    Unless, is it Brussels these days ??? :o))))))
    Well Washington party commitee quarters, may be?

    I'd say gang-1 is un-decided, about the capital. Either Washington or Brussels :o))))), currently :o))), something in-between :o))))
    They do want something to stand for Rome-2/Rome-3, but can't count properly, :o)))) in the first place :o)))), to say nothing about finally formulating the geography.

    For Jukks no doubt Rome-2-3 is Helsinki :o)

    In gang-2 it's easy: Konstantinopol in the function of Rome-2 for most, Moscow in the function of Rome-3 for some.

    A proof to my frivolous description :o))), must admit, is the degree of the worry ab Konsti-churches in Rome-2.

    Gang-1 do not care. They had Rome-1 and then, well, may be, Rome-2, just may be, as Konstantinopol, theoretically, not real seriously, but, let's say, in general, may be had.

    Gang-2 though, is traditionally real concerned, about the chucrh in Konstantinopol well-being and conditions. After all, Rome-2, not a joke, handle with care. In high symbolic status. Even for the ones living under formal jurisdiction of Rome-3 (Moscow).


    Hope, this helps. :o)

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.