April 17, 2007

Partnership for Peace...

...opposed by AKEL, various arguments similar to the anti-euro ones (my favourite one, used by Nic Katsourides and attributed to TeePee from the MP days of the latter: we should not want to participate in any organisation where Turkey is the general and Cyprus is the soldier...). If you want the exact Greek translation, the exact words used were Ο Ταγματάρχης και ο Στρατιώτης...

Maybe the arguments come from a higher form of intelligence, that is why they are non-sensical for the rest of us...

Also, for those of you that know Stravaraland cannot enter this Partnership because Turkey will veto (why would the general veto the soldier is another story that Nic failed to address), note that Nic addressed that today early in the morning because he said, we do not want to make Turkey use its veto over us. Or something to that effect but I was not able to make it completely out, maybe someone can help me.

Note that both Russia and Switzerland (and as far as I can tell almost all European countries, Malta is following suit) are part of the Partnership... Moreover, as far as I can tell the Partnership is based on bilateral agreements, between Nato and a particular country, on general principles (democracy is good, terrorism is bad, vague statements like that) and given that it is bilateral, it does not mean that a country can be forced to do anything against its will by being part of this club. But maybe Nic and AKEL know better and they save the good arguments for when the argument gets going...

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, stupid remarks by your favorite politicians aside, do you actually think it's good for Cyprus to join?

17 April, 2007 15:48  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

what's there to lose by applying?

17 April, 2007 18:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Partner countries have made and continue to make signficant contributions to the Alliance ’s operations and missions, from the Balkans to Afghanistan, Iraq and Darfur".

Thanks, but no thanks.

"At the 2002 Prague Summit, NATO and its Partners launched a Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. This is leading to improved intelligence-sharing and cooperation in areas such as border security, terrorism-related training and exercises, and the development of capabilities for defence against terrorist attack or for dealing with the consequences of such an attack."

Thanks, but no thanks.

"[T]o develop the capacity for joint action with NATO in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations."

Thanks, but no thanks.

Specifics set aside, don't you think we are already militarized enough as it is? Do we need to enter into an alliance based heavily on militarization and aggressive behavior?

A more relevant question is what do we gain from joining? Other than holding hands with beacons of democracy such as Turkmenistan, what political gains are there?

Do we run the risk of opening yet another diplomatic front with Turkey, which will only serve to worsen our already problematic internal rhetoric?

Do we run the risk of alienating our Arab friends by joining an aggressively anti-terrorist NATO parter?

17 April, 2007 21:14  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Do you think Cyprus is not doing things like this already (but without having the guts to accept that it is helping whenever the US asks for help)? Do you think Cyprus does not offer all the help it can offer whenever anyone but Turkey asks? For all the quotes you offer with Thanks and No Thanks, Cyprus is already doing that, and rightly so.

Contrary to what you may think, getting rid of the dictator that was Milosevic and getting the refugees back to Bosnia and Kossovo was actually a triumph of human rights over nationalist aggression that should have been hailed by refugees the world over, and Cyprus in particular.

You might disagree with Iraq but none of the statements you quote mean that you are forced to follow what this group decides. Both France and Germany are part of this and they did not support the war in Iraq...

Being part of a club gives you some voice. Blindly saying YES whenever being asked for something without any voice anywhere is worse I think.

I dont understand your argument about militarization. The island will not become more militarized by joining this. Not more than it already is. In fact, 10 years down the line you might ask for help from them to demilitarize the island completely, with the securities and guarantees that people found wanting in 2004.

Your concerns about diplomatic rows with Turkey and Arab friends will not really be affected by this, I dont think. You choose where to participate later and those individual actions will determine that.

Your most relevant question, as you say is what do we gain?

Well, I would argue that, other than "holding hands with beacons of democracy like Turkmenistan" as you say, we would also be holding hands with the most important countries in the region and I would rather have a voice in there rather than be left outside to suffer any consequences without being able to convince anyone of anything. Granted national interests take precedence but having good personal relationships even at this level does matter in what you can achieve for your country.

I would therefore rather be in the club with the opportunity to convince others and the option not to follow what they decide, rather than be outside, with no voice and no options.

18 April, 2007 09:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so we've established that the good thing about joining is "getting a voice". What kind of voice would that be? Are you referring to the Tassos-Lillikas argument of "convincing our friends about our just cause"?

Or maybe, when we join workshops which deal with
# Defense Policy and Strategy (DPS)
# Democratic Control of Forces (DCF)
# Response to Terrorism (RTT)
# Professional Personnel Structure
# Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)
# Border Security and Control (BSC)
# Language Training (LNG)
# Military Education, Training & Doctrine (TRD)
# Consumer Logistics (LOG)
# Defense Planning and Budgeting and Resource Mgt
and lobby our new partners.

There's no member conference, no resolutions, no joint statements. I hope when you say voice you don't mean the one in our heads.

We're already in the UN and the EU. They have exponentially more humanitarian and diplomatic programs. They have better frameworks, and we actually do have a voice in them.

Maybe we can get NATO troops to help our police become better at handling drunk drivers instead of directly importing them from the great US of A.

18 April, 2007 10:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, the fact that we are already bending over backwards when the US needs military assistance to wreck havoc in Iraq *doesn't* make it a good thing to formalize that relationship through NATO.

18 April, 2007 10:38  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Look, you make a much better case than AKEL, I have to give you that. I dont think they would hire you as a political consultant but you can always try Androulla Giourof at Xaravgi or Nic Katsourides, they might use some help to make a bit more sense.

I still disagree with you overall, however. Readers of the blog can make up their own mind...

18 April, 2007 12:10  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

Hmmm, maybe we should withdraw from the UN too. Turkey is part of that too, after all. Not to mention Turkmenistan....

18 April, 2007 15:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the contrary, let's apply for NAFTA membership as well!

18 April, 2007 15:47  
Blogger Sceptic Anonymous said...

"getting rid of the dictator that was Milosevic and getting the refugees back to Bosnia and Kossovo was actually a triumph of human rights over nationalist aggression that should have been hailed by refugees the world over, and Cyprus in particular."

Let us not discuss what constitutes a triumph. But just for the record let us not forget that Serbian refugees from Croatia and Kossovo will probably not return home, especially if that Kossovo independence is finally declared. You see everybody has human rights it's just that some people have more human rights.

So what's with the double standard then and why should I applaud it? I forgot Milosevic was an evil bastard so it makes everything OK.
Something like Cyprus, a long time ago a junta in Athens tried to kill a Cypriot president and it somehow makes everything OK.

But apart from that I have no opinion on this organisation as I haven't actually studied the details.

18 April, 2007 18:26  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

Since Anonymous subscribes to the Aleka Paparriga school of thought, there's no point in having a debate. There's just no common denominator to start from. Let me just say for the record that the idea that we shouldn't be joining an organization that everyone else belongs to because we are somehow morally superior is simply beyond my comprehension.

It seems obvious that Anonymous has been the victim of intense communist propaganda during his formative years. Of course, we all have been victims of propaganda one way or another. What makes communist propaganda quite unique is its unparalleled (in Cyprus at least) intensity, scope, and effectiveness. It was far more successful than the main competing ideological propagandist, the church, in instilling the notion of the good ("us") against the bad ("them"). Most people who go through that experience never really recover.

Anonymous is not like that. He has progressed enough to be able to distance himself from the decisions of the communist leadership. But the instinctive hate against "the others" is still deeply engrained. Anonymous can see that AKEL's support for TP is doing the country no good; he can distance himself from that decision. But he can not yet bring himself to consider the possibility that "the others" may not be as bad as he was made to believe. That's why he can say that TP and Clerides are part of the same political family. (Might not be the same Anonymous, but the thinking is the same.) That's why he can not accept the simple fact that joining PfP cannot be bad for us, even though the evil Americans are in charge.

I like to think that I have been able to overcome most of my biases. This doesn't make me a better person than Anonymous. It's just that the brainwashing I received was not as intensive and overwhelming as that of the communist propaganda machine. Plus I have had more time to recover. So keep working on it dear Anonymous.

18 April, 2007 22:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You read me like an open book. Not quote a Harlequin, but not a NYTimes Best Seller either. But closer to an Harlequin, for sure. Insert personal insults here. Insert arrogant comments about my superiority over you here. Insert orientalist support of the previous two insertions here. Blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah.

Have we hit rock-bottom yet, or you want to analyze my family and friends as well?

19 April, 2007 00:38  
Blogger impius said...

Illantos may think that he was able to overcome most of his biases but his last pathetic display of prejudice evinces the exact opposite. There are no hints of communist rhetoric in anonymous' comments yet Illantros is convinced that he is one. Apparently he reads between the lines. I'm not saying, the bastard may well be a commie but at this premature state i don't think we can tell doctor.

Attempting to look iconoclastic you merely came off as a pompous arse. What a pity. And you are such a good looking lad judging from you profile picture. So sexy. Meaow.

19 April, 2007 04:28  
Anonymous Anon said...

Re kopellia - katsete tin mappan xame oulloi sas and let's get on with the substance not the posturing and personal attacks etc. One thing about this blog I really like is that despite the different positions there is always a half-humorous but fundamentally serious focus on the issues at hand.

We heard the arguments for and against PfP and it certainly isn't a straightforward case for or against joining. Let me give you my two cents on this one:

The way I see it, the key driver behind the PfP is certainly the US. Specifically it is their disillusionment with the UN who have not been as responsive in dealing with conflict situations. This is a fair criticism of the UN as they are not really equipped or designed to act as the 'world's policeman'. However, there is also a different agenda as the UN is regularly hijacked by developing world countries who want to 'teach a lesson to the US'. There are other forums where this is happening (e.g. the WTO). The current US administration post 9/11 has been keen to follow a much more US-centric path which is also much more overtly interventionist than previous US administrations. The attempt is to secure the US national interest - they have done OK in some cases, but in others this policy of 'unilateralism' has actually backfired and created resentment against the US which is more than the usual norm (the US has always been interventionist post WWII, but in most cases more indirectly/subtly). So the way I see it is that the US will do what the US wants to do and they want to create a "coalition of the willing" to partly rubber-stamp their decisions and partly help out (with public opinion, if not substantively) - very much as the UK, Poland, Italy did with Iraq.

Now to Cyprus. Do we want to be part of this or not? Before focusing on this we should ask the question - does it matter if we are in vs out? I personally think not because I agree with comments made above that Cyprus already offers a lot of support to the US for whatever they need (e.g. rendition flights etc) and this is done outside the scrutiny of the Cyprus parliament etc. Ulitmately we cannot say "no" in any case (or at least without severe consequences). So in terms of implementability, put simply, the US doesn't care whether we are in vs out because they know we won't be a problem when they need us.

However, a bit of 'America bashing' is always useful to AKEL and Christofias to rally the troops. AKEL has not been doing very well recently and is quite divided on the issue of the Cyprus problem. I suspect the debate of membership of the PfP is only relevant insofar as domestic politics is concerned and much less relevant in terms of our foreign policy. I don't quite understand how public opinion will react across party lines on this decision, but I cannot see AKEL losing out to DHSY (who had supported the PfP membership) on this issue. I sense a bit of America-bashing will help get a few marginal voters away from the pro-US stance of DHSY perhaps to DHKO and the government coalition.

Sum total = membership is irrelevant except for domestic vote winning purposes and even there the impact will not be as high.

19 April, 2007 16:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Impius

"...There are no hints of communist rhetoric in anonymous' comments yet Illantros is convinced that he is one..."

Ahahahahahahaaaaaa

The Idiot Mouflon

19 April, 2007 20:50  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

A pompous arse! Wow, that's fantastic. Noone has ever called me that before. That's the great thing about anonymity. It allows people to go beyond the facade and recognize talents you might have that would otherwise be overlooked.

Anonymous thinks I insulted him. He also thinks that I claimed superiority over him. I had no intention of doing either. In fact I made a point of saying that I'm not a better person. I also made a point of not calling him names. I didn't call him a communist; and if I did, I wouldn't have been using it as an insult. The target of my criticism was the propaganda that we all grew up with. I made a special point about the communist propaganda machine just because it was by far the most effective, and because it was anonymous' comments on PfP that inspired me to write.

If anonymous thinks that I insulted him, it must be because he thinks he has no prejudices. If that's the case, what can I say, I'm envious. But please tell me, where was I wrong? Is that you were never a victim of the AKEL propaganda machine to begin with? Or is it that you were, yet you managed to overcome it completely? If it's the latter, then there's hope for all of us.

P.S. We all like our anonymity, but it's nice to use a pseudonym so that people can link conversations.

19 April, 2007 21:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind the psychoanalysis at all. Mrs. Loupeskou was doing it too the other day on TV. Can you also do kuria Stavroulla from the periptero? It's entertaining in its own right.

It's also much easier to do than actually addressing the fact that "Tassos and Christofias have presented stupendous reasons not to join, ergo it's good to join" is not enough of an argument. At least Apodimos did that.

To recap some substance, the two points raised by Apodimos as good reasons to join are that it won't hurt us to join and that it will give us another voice in a multinational organization. Apodimos thinks these are enough, obviously I don't, and as he said readers can make their own mind.

Illantros' contributions so far have been a proposal to withdraw from the UN (obviously a joke, to which I replied with a joke), a huge post dedicated to me (thanks), and a post explaining that the post dedicated to me wasn't really dedicated to me (oh, well).

PS: Thanks for the netiquette tips.

20 April, 2007 09:46  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

Ts, ts, ts, relax dude. If you fall off that high horse you might hurt yourself.

20 April, 2007 22:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I like to think that I have been able to overcome most of my biases. This doesn't make me a better person than Anonymous. It's just that the brainwashing I received was not as intensive and overwhelming as that of the communist propaganda machine. Plus I have had more time to recover. So keep working on it dear Anonymous."

"If you fall off that high horse you might hurt yourself."

The good thing about you is that one way or another, you're always gracious enough to help me. Thanks!

20 April, 2007 23:57  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

See, I'm just a nice guy after all.

I have tried to explain to you that my post was an attempt to explain a social phenomenon, not a slam against you. You refuse to accept my clarification, and you would rather keep pouting. Whatever makes you happy.

Moral superiority and the victim mentality are key ingredients of communist indoctrination. (By communist of course I don't mean poor Karl Marx; I mean the applied communists who have been abusing his theories over the last century.) In order to keep the people behind you, you have to give them an enemy. It's "us", the good guys, against "them", the bad guys: the capitalists, the nationalists, the imperialists. AKEL has played this card brilliantly; Katsourides, after all, does have a PhD in propaganda. For 30 years after the invasion they corralled their people by demonizing the right-wing coupist extremists (who in reality number a few dozen people). Since the referendum this argument has been wearing thin because they are now on the same side as the coupists and the hardliners.

The same strategy works, of course, for all indoctrinators, not just communists. In Nazi Germany Goebbels managed to convince an entire nation that the Jews were responsible for all their problems. F***ing brilliant!

Sorry I wrote too much again. I'm not going to carry on the exchange with anonymous. If he wants to continue it privately, my email is above.

21 April, 2007 09:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with the joke about the man who gets a flat tire in the middle of nowhere? He sees a house in the distance, starts walking towards it to get help, but he makes up stories in his head about the man who will get the door denying to offer any. He finally gets there, rings the doorbell, and as soon as the guy opens the door, he shouts "fuck you and your stupid jack" and walks away.

You made up a nice story about me (namely that "Anonymous has been the victim of intense communist propaganda during his formative years"). Maybe not to insult me, just to built a straw-man for your later analysis. It's not even worth me refuting it, that would be like trying to argue with Demetris Papey. You added your 1000-word essay on top of that, based on what you made up. Your social analysis is 100% right, and describes the mentality of AKEL and the majority of its followers 100% correctly.

It's a great technique you have here.
1. Steer away from the actual topic.
2. Make a straw-man up.
3. Analyze with great fervor why the straw-man is a straw-man, and break it to pieces.
4. Pretend you're in topic and that the topic has been exhausted.

You managed to never even mention the PfP, never even mention any points for or against joining. Yet you've posted a crap load of analysis. You're the man in the joke.

21 April, 2007 12:15  

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