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Belarusian President Election

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d1ver polycounter lvl 12
Hello, guys.
I'm sorry if this seems inappropriate, but I thought that since we had a northen korea thread and wikileaks and stuff like that, this might also be worth your attention.

This Sunday we had another presidential election with 9 candidates running for the post. 6 of them are now in jail awaiting court hearing and their 15 years long jail sentences. While the current "president" remains on his post for 16 years already. over 600 hundred people are under arrest and awaiting trial as well.
That's the result of the anti election falsification demonstration held the on the night of 20th.

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15 000 - 40 000 people came out on the streets to express their disagreement with the regime and the election fraud.

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6 out of 8 opposition candidates were the spokepersons for the gathering.

One of them didn't even make it to the meeting point. Vladimir Neklyaev and his supporters were supposed to bring audio equipment to the demonstration, but the police car blocked their way.

[ame]

the column was attacked be special forces police. as you can see many were beaten, the equipment was "confiscated". some were arrested. among the arrested were the reporters from Russian state TV, that police was forced to let go. I cannot find their report on-line but it's pretty much what you've seen here, just from another point of view.

Btw the official press wrote about "3 brave officers being injured in an operation to stop terrorist opposition truck filled with explosives." Yeah, this truck.

Meanwhile, those who made were heading to the residence of the government.

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The demonstrators, led by the remaining opposition leaders proclaimed that they disagree with the election results and claimed them to be rigged. They demanded new elections without lukаshenko among the candidates and to negotiate with the current government.

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the people chanted "belarus lives" and "go away" when a police bus came in and told them that what they are doing is illegal and if the won't go away "physical measures would be taken"

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but the car was covered with the opposition flag and booed away.

The protesters still demanded negotiations. Some of the most anxious started to break in into the residence of the government, that happened to be fortified and filled with spetznaz officers:

20101219-11_action_vibori_new.jpg


But through loud speakers opposition leaders told them to calm down and keep things peacefull.

So people were waiting for something to happen. It was night and -20 c(very cold) and nothing happened for a while. So more people got more anxious and the second wave started, despite the pleas to keep thing s peaceful. Tens of thousands of people shouted "push" and "negotiations" while trying to break into the residence of the government.

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Enter riot police

http://www.svaboda.org/video/13530.html

By the way most of the time people chant "freedom!"

It seems that having realized that the police are heavily outnumbered they fell back.

But not for long

http://www.svaboda.org/video/13545.html

http://www.svaboda.org/video/13557.html

http://www.svaboda.org/video/13530.html

In the background you can hear opposition leaders pleading through loudspeakers for the police not to hurt people. They say that they are negotiating with police command and ask them not to resort to violence.

[ame]

[ame]

And then the vans rolled in and everyone who couldn't get away in time was forcefully loaded there through a policemen corridor and taken to jail.

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The next morning tv was blaring about hooligans and fascists instigating riots and the usual agenda.

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  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    (I've tried to keep text to a minimum, not to bore you guys. But this second post is my opinion on things in case someone's interested.)

    And that's how our democratic elections go.

    EU and USA didn't recognize the results, but we unfortunately don't have no oil, so there's no point in invading us. So everyone will express their disappointment once again and that's it.

    The last days were very strange. I felt like I've connected with a lot of different people on a very disappointing subject: hate.

    To be fair I have to say, that most of the people I see around me deserve the country they have. Those who know they deserve better realize that there's hardly anything they can change.

    I don't think, that among all those people who were there, everyone understood what they were there for and what kind of consequence could their actions trigger.

    I don't believe the national agenda even the tiniest bit, but I still take all the opposition info with a pinch of salt. They both value their goals before their "means" to some extent. And I guess me being partly aligned with opposition still should not justify it.

    Just for the record: I wasn't there. It happened, that the whole weekend I was on the verge of going to jаil for the reasons I can't discuss.(but they are related to the dumb obligations I'm forced to have before this great country of ours). So monday morning was decisive of whether I'll be ok or will have to get the hell out of dodge.

    But I don't know if I would go even if I had a chance and that's the saddest part.
    It's sad, when all you want to do is live like a normal person, but instead you are forced to fight for it, before you get the chance to. And you even might not get one, just spend the next 10 years in jail instead.

    But you know what sucks the most? It's that the people of my age are not responsible for all of this. We did not fuck things up like that, but we have no choice but to live with it. All the time I try to live outside the system and I manage to some extent, but it catches up with you and bites you in the ass, tries to make you responsible for it - it feels so unfair that you desperately want to find someone to blame. Someone you'd gladly spit in the face for fucking up your life.
    Life is hard and unfair as it is and I'm fine with it up to the point when police starts beating you on the head with batons because you disagree.

    Even though I hardly believe anyone when it comes to politics, even though those people changed nothing, even though some of them had no idea of what they were exactly doing, even though all I want to do is art and not care about other shit I still feel like a coward for not being there, to fruitlessly stand for what I agree with.

    And probably get beaten by police. And those people worry me the most. I can't imagine how can you be sane and still beat up women, old people and anyone else for standing up for what they believe in. I don't think they are sane and I most honestly find those people the scum of the earth. Being a very peace loving person, who doesn't even curse and never raises his voice, seeing the police do what they do, builds up so much rage inside me, that I would tear their jawbones off and cracked their skulls open with them with no hesitation. It's a very disturbing thought, but not as disturbing as me being forced to hate, just because I was unlucky to be born somewhere.
    Make you hate - the worst thing a country can do to you.

    I'm sorry if you find it inappropriate, but I feel so disgusted and disappointed by all of this, that I had to get it out.
    I know that polycount is not my blog and, well... maybe some of you would find this interesting and reevaluating of their own life, so please don't kick me in the nuts too hard.
  • easterislandnick
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    easterislandnick polycounter lvl 14
    d1ver wrote: »
    maybe some of you would find this interesting and reevaluating of their own life

    Yeah, some of us live in heaven and don't even know it. Thanks for the informative post and good luck out there.
  • Andreas
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    Andreas polycounter lvl 11
    Didn't even know this was going on. Keep on the good fight guys :(
  • whats_true
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    whats_true polycounter lvl 12
    First thought was...wheres Belarusian?

    Anywho, was watching this a few days ago. Saw some photos from BigPicture. It really pisses me off when people pull that type of blatant crap. Hope the best for yeah mate :\
  • Avanthera
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    Avanthera polycounter lvl 10
    Sucks man,
    My wife tells me of how the russian government is run, situations sound similar, but it doesn't sound near as bad as you guys have it...
    good luck, keep your head down.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    Thanks a lot for your support, fellas.
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    Hang in there dude. I think maybe your system is self perpetuating... beating you down until you have no choice but to continue the system. You seem to be the type that won't conform, that's good because if there's enough people like you eventually people with your mindset will be the ones in power.

    Personally, I don't know if protests do that much. I believe violent protests are the most effective, but just how much I don't know. It's good for getting attention, and now everyone knows your President is illegitimate, but how useful that is in a practical sense is unknown. The best thing to do might be a mass attempt to enter government and change it from within.

    Also, are you sure you won't get in trouble for this post? I understand your need to speak out, but you already said that you narrowly escaped imprisonment. I'd hate to think you were at risk of being silenced because of this.
  • flaagan
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    flaagan polycounter lvl 14
    Just a thought, as an American tired of people complaining about us getting involved in other countries' politics, I find your 'but we have no oil's comment a little confusing and slightly insulting. I mean, if we step in at all, we're seen as meddling, but if we act like any other country and state our disapproval and enforce sanctions (which I believe are starting soon) we're seen as not doing enough. Not to be rude but what exactly would you have the US do in a situation like this?
  • sneakymcfox
    flaagan wrote: »
    Just a thought, as an American tired of people complaining about us getting involved in other countries' politics, I find your 'but we have no oil's comment a little confusing and slightly insulting. I mean, if we step in at all, we're seen as meddling, but if we act like any other country and state our disapproval and enforce sanctions (which I believe are starting soon) we're seen as not doing enough. Not to be rude but what exactly would you have the US do in a situation like this?

    please bare in mind that not all non Americans are of the same mind, some support interventionism, the majority however support self-interested foreign policy so thats what you hear in the news media.

    Personally I think strong military intervention would be justified, by either Russia or the USA however were Russia to act strongly against Belarus the American government would be the first to condemn them for those actions.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    enforcing sanctions does nothing but hurt the general population. the "government" and higher ups rarely feel a backlash from it.
    take north korea as a perfect example of this, the general population live in an actual shit-hole, while government officials live in relative luxury.

    the whole "we don't recognise you" thing is a pile of horse shit too. if i was a dictator in some out of the way country, why the fuck would i care if i was recognised by others? you're not coming in and actually doing anything to me, so fuck off...



    btw, not trying to be insulting here. just saying that the UN are REALLY world police, except they actually don't police anything. and when one or two of their members decide to, for whatever reason (look at iraq, sure it's over oil, but saddam had to go anyway), they're criticised for it.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    Hey, flaagan, no worries, I guess it was me, who was rude and I beg your pardon for it. I wasn't too serious about it and I meant it more like a sarcastic joke than anything else.

    And even though I wasn't referring to US specifically I think you guys have got a lot on your plates as it is and I wouldn't want to see a country squandering it's money on something so remote from it's citizens well being. You don't owe no one nothing.

    There's still a lot of people here, who are happy in their ignorance and I doubt you can force changes on them. If they choose poorer existence, slower technological advancement and human rights violation for the sake of being self sufficient and independent(though they aren't completely) - it's their choice.

    So If I would have US do something - it would be giving me a work permit haha so I could get out of here and make some great games.)

    trancerobot, thanks mate. hopefully I won't get in trouble.) On my last job the CEO himself personally told everyone not visit any opposition sites or write about politics in their mail or icq since КGВ is listening.)But I hope that those guys have bigger potatoes to fry. Or that they have very poor english skills.=) I dunno I hope things are not so bad.

    I agree with you about the violent protests. It's not the first time people get out to protest and then get themselves beaten and arrested. Once they are too tired of getting beaten and start fighting back or even worse - killing - things might change.
    Changing a governmnt is hardly an option, 'cause if you aren't aligned with the system, they're gonna create problems for you. So there's no such thing as opposition in parliament. At least I haven't heard about it.
  • flaagan
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    flaagan polycounter lvl 14
    d1ver wrote: »
    So If I would have US do something - it would be giving me a work permit haha so I could get out of here and make some great games.)

    Wish I could help, jobless at the moment myself! :poly142:
    Gotta say, your skills with the English language should definitely help you out.

    No direct insult taken, by the way, just stating my general feelings on the "why isn't the US doing something". I believe it was your country I was reading about in a local paper in the past few days; if I recall, it was saying that the UN has a bunch of its 'forces' around the area trying to help out. Again, not sure if it was your country they were talking about; have you seen any of them around? I'll admit ignorance about your country (had to just go look its location up on Google Maps) and its situation, but it sounds like (some of) the people there are at least willing to start making their voices heard, and I can only hope the best for you and your fellow countrymen in getting such a regime removed.

    Keep us in the loop on what's going on, it's much better to hear from someone experiencing the news than from what's filtered on down to the rest of the world.
  • Dean
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    Dean polycounter lvl 9
    flaagan wrote: »
    I believe it was your country I was reading about in a local paper in the past few days; if I recall, it was saying that the UN has a bunch of its 'forces' around the area trying to help out. Again, not sure if it was your country they were talking about; have you seen any of them around? getting such a regime removed.

    I believe you're confusing Belarus with the Ivory Coast;) They've got an electoral dispute on their hands as well at the moment.
  • Bruno Afonseca
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    Bruno Afonseca Polycount Sponsor
    Hey, aren't you eligible for a political asylum? Since you said you're in a delicate position and could end up in jail... And you seem like a very educated person, which only helps. Once outside, you can set your foot in the industry, and have the freedom to let the world know what's going on over there.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 15
    There is nothing I can say other than keep your head above water. While not letting the hate get to you if possible. Gandhi comes to mind. Im not saying becoming that leader, I'm just saying tying to keep that outlook. As far as the police. Maybe it would be best to confront one in a situation where they arent on duty. To ask directly how they justify themselves. Yea I know, wishful thinking as they would probably try to get you arrested at that point. But still, just keep it in mind. Like say they are in the restroom, you go in and ask while they are plopping one, so you can rush out after you ask and they are trying to get off the toilet to nab you.

    Just don't "disappear". In fact probably posting internationally is good because it would be harder for your secret police to come for you.

    As far as international intervention. The UN has to be invited. In the case of Invory Coast they were, and the leader there backtracked after he lost.
  • flaagan
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    flaagan polycounter lvl 14
    Dean wrote: »
    I believe you're confusing Belarus with the Ivory Coast;) They've got an electoral dispute on their hands as well at the moment.

    Ah, yes, that's what it was. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • Asherr
    500px-Europe-Belarus.svg.png

    For those who don't know where it is, Belarus is highlighted in green.
  • Karmageddon
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    Karmageddon polycounter lvl 7
    Come to the US!
  • bbob
    Man, my heart goes out for you. Been following the situation on radio and tv for a while now and its just hard to stomach that such a thing still exists west of the Urals.

    Please do let me know if there is something I as a foreigner can do to aid your struggle for liberty..
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    oXYnary wrote: »
    There is nothing I can say other than keep your head above water. While not letting the hate get to you if possible. Gandhi comes to mind. Im not saying becoming that leader, I'm just saying tying to keep that outlook. As far as the police. Maybe it would be best to confront one in a situation where they arent on duty. To ask directly how they justify themselves. Yea I know, wishful thinking as they would probably try to get you arrested at that point. But still, just keep it in mind. Like say they are in the restroom, you go in and ask while they are plopping one, so you can rush out after you ask and they are trying to get off the toilet to nab you.

    Just don't "disappear". In fact probably posting internationally is good because it would be harder for your secret police to come for you.

    As far as international intervention. The UN has to be invited. In the case of Invory Coast they were, and the leader there backtracked after he lost.

    a good police officer is never off duty.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    Hey, guys.
    I must say I am surprised yet very glad to see so many sympathetic people. Thanks you for not being indifferent. I wish more people here were like that. But a lot seem to live by "it's not a problem unless it happens to me" motto.

    It's a typical cognitive dissonance case. A lot of people here are much more reluctant to admit they live in a horrible country, even knowing everything, because that would contradict with their thought that their life is good and it would actually demand changes from them, which don't come easily.

    I spoke to a number of people here lately and disappointingly a lot of older people(35+ I'd say) find ways to actually justify human rights violation.
    An example I can give you is sort of like "yeah I know those people were beaten and are in jail, but should they win, you can't be sure that things would change for the better. I heard that some Baltic countries had a decline in economy after joining eu, why would we want that?"

    And thats what soviet union did to people. People actually justify human rights violation. Like it's something that can be justified. Probably because it was a norm for them growing up.
    "Not in the communist party? Sorry, but you're no one, now go wipe some floors for the rest of your life."

    I mean, how could you ever justify human rights violation? Around a 1000 people that were arrested, were forcefully fired from any job they had and kicked out of any higher education establishment they studied in. The Horrible stories of police abuse and lawlessness are a common thing. Even if you don't go to demonstrations you still have a hard time getting higher education if you dare to speak out or even defend yourself against abuse from professors and headmasters. All the crap they pour into the ears of students how great is the country they live in. A lot of people here sincerely believe that their quality of life could rival that of the USA for example. Minorities have no rights whatsoever and if you are gay you better wish you weren't.


    And still people come up with ways to justify it. Why? Because this people taught themselves to keep their heads down, bend over and take it up the ass when necessary and only look after themselves, trying to minimize their own problems. That's the Majority of people born in the USSR as I see it.


    Btw, remember me wondering what must be going on in the minds of the policemen. Believe it or not social networks shed some light on the matter. In a repulsing way.

    00047g0d
    Can you believe people uploading photos with beaten, bleeding people an proudly marking themselves on them?

    x_4d2913ce.jpg

    This guys' status roughly translates like "Kicked some fucking ass this sunday. nobody's protesting on monday."

    I have no rage left, so I just keep wondering just how horrible people can be.

    There's quite a bunch of them surfaced here and there. And after a brief analysis sad conclusions are to be made:
    they are horrifyingly young - 19-20 years old,they all come from small towns, they study in some sort of a governmental military establishment.

    So what they do is take a poor young provincial kid, relocate him to the capital, pay his life with tax payers money and "educate" him into a "hero". That's what this country breeds to serve and protect. And those people are unwilling to see beyond their instilled loyalty.
    and yeah.
    they
    are
    just
    kids =(

    in the videos I posted above you can actually see kids in the protesting crowd that I doubt are older then 18.

    And that's how people do politics nowadays.

    this is beyond horrible.

    I don't like to be nagging, but since some of you guys asked to keep you in the loop here's what I have to say for today.
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    It's really interesting, disheartening stuff. We've had alot of protests in the UK recently over a large hike in tutition fees that a large part of the government pledged would never happen. There where a few small outbreaks of violence, and alot of over reaction from the police, but in just doesn't compare the the political mire of bullshit Belarus is going through.

    I'm a believer in peaceful protest. I think any violence in the student protests was a huge mistake made by assholes. But it depends on the situation. In Belarus I think its terrible but its hard to see peaceful protest achieving anything when the entrenched government is so audacious and arrogant in beating back opposition.

    Sad times, my heart goes out to people there. Please do keep us updated.
  • xvampire
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    xvampire polycounter lvl 12
    dont give up dude,

    my dad happened to be a political prisoner too,
    yes we do hear you, but in the end your own people is the one who decide.
    it doesn't take overnight to change something. but trust me it work.
    im glad its already 12 years since my country drastically switched to fully democratic nation. (from militarism )

    careful for some 3rd party messing around in protester side.
  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 13
    d1ver wrote: »
    but we unfortunately don't have no oil, so there's no point in invading us.
    Are you assuming that US and NATO troops would just come there, tell the bad people to leave you guys alone and head back home immediately without plundering the natural resources? Sure, they could do it for a cup of coffee and a cake - heck, it´s Christmas, so maybe just a glass of milk would be enough... but still... it´s quite improbable scenario, I think. But I could be wrong, maybe the third time is the charm afterall...
  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 13
    hboybowen wrote: »
    To me America,our country is about having the rights and freedoms of all people. So alot of the time we push this down the throats of every country we invade.

    If you have to PUSH it down their throat, then they probably don´t want it the way you do it. Ergo, your actions are non-democratic. Which should by this logic mean anti-freedom. Some people should really get over the illusion of always good, right and "everything-understanding-most-awesome" america helping the rest of the world... I have that enough on the TV (sad thing that in the news too).
    Also, I like the jurisdiction thing you have in your country, but funny thing how these limits don´t occur when it comes to dealing with the rest of the world.
    And also, freedom is national sovereignty in your own country, not national sovereignty of US citizens anywhere in this f*cking world. I wonder what you´d be saying if Russians were acting half the way that your government does. Well, you can see that actually. Just check Rambo III. Wasn´t he fighting with Afghans against the invaders? Yes, yes he was. See, the invaders were the Russians back then... Here´s a head scratcher - who´d he be fighting with today? That´s a movie I´d like to see.

    In short - I´m not taking sides with the Belorussian government. I don´t mind revolutions, coups, defenestration or just some "hanging the government on the streetlights" classics. But expecting that some other government will do it or help with that just to free the poor people without any other interests is silly. There are 2 examples already to prove that it most likely won´t happen (unless dropping bombs down the chimney is that kind of thing Santa normally does in US too. Then it must be for all the civilians Christmas day everyday.)
    Any such action of intervention would be against sovereignty of the country. And fact that the UN just looked the other way anytime US needed it, still doesn´t make it right.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    I heard about this on BBC world news, sorry to hear :(

    I have a feeling the US government won't do much because there is already an agreement with the current government to move it's enriched uranium to Russia.
  • sneakymcfox
    The idea of national sovereignty raining supreme is quite an odd one, in it's purest form it is outside non reaction to internal affairs of other nations. In a democracy it makes sense, this leaves a government theoretically solely to the will of its own people (how often this is true is a topic for another day) The ultimate in self-determination and an admirable principle.

    However when applied to a dictatorship this leaves them accountable to themselves solely or in other words, they can do whatever the fuck they want.Non resistance to evil is to enable it. Regimes like Saddam Hussein's where living outside the law and whether there where ever WMDs or not it was about time the leaders of that regime where bought to justice and so, I believe, it should be with the belarussian's.

    Society brings individual criminals to justice in its own community with great veracity however it seems unable to cope with people who's orders kill tens of thousands.
    ghost-d wrote: »
    If you have to PUSH it down their throat, then they probably don´t want it the way you do it. Ergo, your actions are non-democratic. Which should by this logic mean anti-freedom.

    Democracy does not equal freedom, democracies time and time again vote for the restriction of other groups rights for example the French burhqa ban which is why in more democratic countries certain base rights have to be written into constitutions to stop them being violated by future governments. Something being anti democratic (IE Gay marriage in America) can also mean an increase in freedom for a lot of people.

    Freedom=Freedom
    Democracy=Democracy
  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 13
    The idea of national sovereignty raining supreme is quite an odd one, in it's purest form it is outside non reaction to internal affairs of other nations. In a democracy it makes sense, this leaves a government theoretically solely to the will of its own people (how often this is true is a topic for another day) The ultimate in self-determination and an admirable principle.

    However when applied to a dictatorship this leaves them accountable to themselves solely or in other words, they can do whatever the fuck they want.Non resistance to evil is to enable it. Regimes like Saddam Hussein's where living outside the law and whether there where ever WMDs or not it was about time the leaders of that regime where bought to justice and so, I believe, it should be with the belarussian's.

    Society brings individual criminals to justice in its own community with great veracity however it seems unable to cope with people who's orders kill tens of thousands.



    Democracy does not equal freedom, democracies time and time again vote for the restriction of other groups rights for example the French burhqa ban which is why in more democratic countries certain base rights have to be written into constitutions to stop them being violated by future governments. Something being anti democratic (IE Gay marriage in America) can also mean an increase in freedom for a lot of people.

    Freedom=Freedom
    Democracy=Democracy

    But what we´re speaking about here is whether or not should OTHER government or nation decide what´s right or wrong. And that´s against the sovereignty of a state (maybe the national sovereignty wasn´t the right term - english is not my native language but I thought that everyone will get what I wanted to say).
    If in america (or anywhere else in the world) they decide that everyone has to have an antenna sticking out their butt - I won´t care. It´s their problem, not mine. So why should they care about me? And that applies to any other nation/government. Mine too. My country is in NATO (US puppies), and do you think that I care when any of those assholes dies in the desert? no. they´re only there because they have nothing to offer on the job market. and the "serving our country" excuse? Bullshit. They decided to take care of their miserable financial situation by harassing civilians for money and bailing out as soon as someone with AK-47 shows up.
    Speaking of dictatorship... In my country, the democratic system we have has banned a national party several times. Why? I´m not nazi, but what if in this country lived let´s say 90% of people who would vote for them. Is it democracy to ban someone? I mean, if the government is sure that the people have what they want (job, home, decent living standards), then they don´t have to worry about other parties (even extremists). And if they are worried and keep banning these parties, then it means that they are trying to prevent such thing to happen. Which means that they´re acting just like any other dictator.
  • Ferg
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    Ferg polycounter lvl 14
    Thanks for posting d1ver, I had no idea this was going on. Supremely fucked up.

    In regards to the police that beat protesters and were proud of it - it's amazing how well we have brainwashing down to a science. Extremely disturbing. I think most countries have a lot of soldiers and policemen that think this way; the right kind of personality mixed with that kind of training turns them into pawns for the powerful, and they get off on the violence, and never realize what they're doing the way your or I do.

    Seeing all this enrages me.... and makes me feel pretty damn powerless. I'll be making sure people around me know this is happening, but I don't know if there's anything else I can do. I wish it was possible for peaceful, reasonable people to have more power than greedy, violent assholes... but the world does not seem to work that way.
  • bbob
    ghost-d wrote: »
    But what we´re speaking about here is whether or not should OTHER government or nation decide what´s right or wrong. And that´s against the sovereignty of a state (maybe the national sovereignty wasn´t the right term - english is not my native language but I thought that everyone will get what I wanted to say).
    If in america (or anywhere else in the world) they decide that everyone has to have an antenna sticking out their butt - I won´t care. It´s their problem, not mine. So why should they care about me? And that applies to any other nation/government. Mine too. My country is in NATO (US puppies), and do you think that I care when any of those assholes dies in the desert? no. they´re only there because they have nothing to offer on the job market. and the "serving our country" excuse? Bullshit. They decided to take care of their miserable financial situation by harassing civilians for money and bailing out as soon as someone with AK-47 shows up.
    Speaking of dictatorship... In my country, the democratic system we have has banned a national party several times. Why? I´m not nazi, but what if in this country lived let´s say 90% of people who would vote for them. Is it democracy to ban someone? I mean, if the government is sure that the people have what they want (job, home, decent living standards), then they don´t have to worry about other parties (even extremists). And if they are worried and keep banning these parties, then it means that they are trying to prevent such thing to happen. Which means that they´re acting just like any other dictator.

    It sure is a fine line, but exactly how much more important is national sovereignty than the well being of the citizens?

    Let's take the example of Saddams Iraq. Okay, the reasons we were given was bullshit, there was no WMD's and the people behind that particular lie should be held accountable.

    However, the Iraqi bath party was essentially founded in a great admiration of the political careers and methods of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Saddam even fashioned a moustache in homage to the latter, as he was more successful with the sheer volume of his cruelty.

    This was a society where were you to sit in a cafe and accidentally tip over your coffee over a newspaper containing a picture of the great leader, you would be arrested. Your family would have been brought to watch you being tortured, if they didnt applaud the spectacle, they would be subjected to the same treatment.

    After this, you would get shot, with a bill sent to your family for the ammunition used.


    If this is not enough human suffering to warrant intervention out of sympathy, then what is? Or should we simply strive to contain our sense of empathy to the limits of our own border? Maybe rationalize that we cannot possibly know that freedom to think independant thoughts is better than the deathgrip of absolute tyranny? That a taliban that keeps children out of schools and the general population in crushing poverty because they know it is then easier to brainwash them into holy war is just a quaint quirk of culture that we should respect and adore?
  • Mark Dygert
    It would be a jaw droppingly shocking if the US intervened in any other countries affairs if it didn't serve our own interests first. Ironically most of the time it is the actions of the US acting in its own self interest that bring about the need for wider "coalition intervention" later on down the road.

    Q: What does the US melding in other countries get that country.
    A: A war and then abandonment that leads to a larger war followed by more abandonment.

    US backs the Mujaheddin and fights a proxy war with the Russians. The US "wins" and immediately pulls support because it no longer serves its interests. The Afghan civil war erupts leading to the raise of the Taliban. Notice for the years the Taliban was in power the US didn't care about the brutality.
    "That's a pity, meh /shrug fuck em. Everyone blames the Russians for that mess"

    US backs Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war. After the US "wins" it pulls support for Iraq and it falls into near bankruptcy despite sitting on a sea of oil. Failing to broker deals with the countries in the Arab League, Saddam seeking a cheaper way to boost oil exports, invades the tiny country of Kuwait which has nothing more to offer than coastline and shipping facilities.

    If the US had helped Iraq broker better trade deals with its neighbors (Arab League Coalition Forces) after the I/I war they never would of seen a need to invade Kuwait. Notice they didn't put any humanitarian strings on the money for the I/I war. Notice they didn't care what Saddam did for the next decade, they figured they had him locked up and the Arab League had their boot heal on his neck. Ahh there we go... peace in the middle east and everyone following US demands.

    The Iraq War or Gulf War part 2 was brought on because Saddam after having is ass handed to him a few years earlier was defiant and kicked out the UN inspectors. Oh shit... Saddam you have to understand when the US says jump you say "off which cliff do I jump? sir".

    The US is friends with all kinds of unsavory countries all over the world and as long as they do what the US says, the brutality and cruelty is fine.

    If Russia ever raises the iron curtain again I'm sure the US will be there in Belarus to establish true freedom and democracy... for their bases and missile shields... err I mean the people.

    So no you don't want the US to meddle in your countries affairs. It will just fuck you and everyone else over. Ask Georgia how it goes when you think you have the US at your back then... don't.
  • ghost-d
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    ghost-d polycounter lvl 13
    bbob wrote: »
    It sure is a fine line, but exactly how much more important is national sovereignty than the well being of the citizens?

    Let's take the example of Saddams Iraq. Okay, the reasons we were given was bullshit, there was no WMD's and the people behind that particular lie should be held accountable.

    However, the Iraqi bath party was essentially founded in a great admiration of the political careers and methods of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Saddam even fashioned a moustache in homage to the latter, as he was more successful with the sheer volume of his cruelty.

    This was a society where were you to sit in a cafe and accidentally tip over your coffee over a newspaper containing a picture of the great leader, you would be arrested. Your family would have been brought to watch you being tortured, if they didnt applaud the spectacle, they would be subjected to the same treatment.

    After this, you would get shot, with a bill sent to your family for the ammunition used.


    If this is not enough human suffering to warrant intervention out of sympathy, then what is? Or should we simply strive to contain our sense of empathy to the limits of our own border? Maybe rationalize that we cannot possibly know that freedom to think independant thoughts is better than the deathgrip of absolute tyranny? That a taliban that keeps children out of schools and the general population in crushing poverty because they know it is then easier to brainwash them into holy war is just a quaint quirk of culture that we should respect and adore?

    Sovereignty of a state means that the government in such country can rule as they want. And no other country is allowed to stick their nose in their business. It´s part of an international law.

    Where did you get the Saddam - Hitler/Stalin thing? I´d really like to know. But speaking of Hitler. Was it Saddam or Bush who invaded two countries under completely false accusations or under a search for a person which became unimportant as soon as they got what they wanted? And don´t you think that the whole 9/11 thing is very similar to Poland 1939? So be careful with that Hitler card, ok...

    Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea... - You know what you can do about these countries? Not to go there. It´s as simple as that. You can feel sorry for those people, you can even feel lucky that you don´t live there. But it´s not up to you to decide what´s better for them, especially after all the crap you government told you over media and showed up being lies. And as soon as their armies set foot on the ground of your country, you can start shooting them - I won´t say a word. But false accusations and preemptive strikes? How can anyone take that "preemptive strike" bullshit?? Is it okay for me to kill my neighbor as an preemptive strike just because he just started doing karate and he might beat me EVENTUALLY? I wonder what the judge would say on that. He´d probably crap his pants laughing.
  • hobodactyl
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    hobodactyl polycounter lvl 14
    d1ver, thanks for sharing this, I'm so sorry you have to be going through this all :( I totally get what you mean, where you feel "shouldn't I stand up to this?" even though it seems to be useless to do so. All I can say is try meditation if you don't already, and know that there are millions of people that hope for peace the same way that you do, and we are all supporting you :)
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    sorry to bump but just came across some WTF news:
    Belarus has outlawed browsing foreign Web sites
  • PaulP
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    PaulP polycounter lvl 6
    Sounds like the government are worried about a facebook revolution.

    Being from Scotland, I've met alot of people and made friends with people from different parts of Eastern Europe, but I've only met one from Belarus and I had not heard about this country before then. Until recently we have had very little press coverage of Belarus, and I don't think I've even seen them mentioned on Russia Today until recently (my dad always watches this channel). Not sure why, or if Belarus has restrictions on foreign press.

    I can indirectly sympahise with what you are going through. My mum was a middle-eastern christian brought up in Iraq, and her family had to deal with both persecution for their religion, as well as all the other bull-shit from Sadam's regime. Thats a whole other story, but one thing that seems in common with yours is how hate and fear can play a huge role in peoples lives. These are justified emotions given the situation people are forced into, but the really unfortunate side is that these kinds of governments use fear and hate to control people.

    I hope things start to change for you and your country d1ver, and that the oppression and bloodshed will come to a peaceful end.
  • uncle
    It is truly sad, we had this in Poland 20+ years ago. The hell of communism.

    Point is nobody will help you. Western countries have no interest in you, sadly. The only way is to win the freedom - with your own hands and blood. Eventually you will end up with democracy - which is also crap. But no one came up with anything better (Churchill said that?).

    :brofist:
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 8
    d1ver...


    ...I hope you know how to use a rifle. It looks like the unfortunate time for such things has come in your part of the world.


    I will think good thoughts for your safety.
  • lincolnhughes
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    lincolnhughes polycounter lvl 10
    bbob wrote: »
    It sure is a fine line, but exactly how much more important is national sovereignty than the well being of the citizens?

    Let's take the example of Saddams Iraq. Okay, the reasons we were given was bullshit, there was no WMD's and the people behind that particular lie should be held accountable.

    However, the Iraqi bath party was essentially founded in a great admiration of the political careers and methods of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Saddam even fashioned a moustache in homage to the latter, as he was more successful with the sheer volume of his cruelty.

    This was a society where were you to sit in a cafe and accidentally tip over your coffee over a newspaper containing a picture of the great leader, you would be arrested. Your family would have been brought to watch you being tortured, if they didnt applaud the spectacle, they would be subjected to the same treatment.

    After this, you would get shot, with a bill sent to your family for the ammunition used.


    If this is not enough human suffering to warrant intervention out of sympathy, then what is? Or should we simply strive to contain our sense of empathy to the limits of our own border? Maybe rationalize that we cannot possibly know that freedom to think independant thoughts is better than the deathgrip of absolute tyranny? That a taliban that keeps children out of schools and the general population in crushing poverty because they know it is then easier to brainwash them into holy war is just a quaint quirk of culture that we should respect and adore?

    Ya I guess the food sanctions on Iraq were worth it (150,000-1.5 million civilian casualities), or what about the invasion of Iraq (anywhere from 150 thousand - 1.5 million civilian casualties).... Totally worth it. I'm sure all those now murdered by either starvation or bombs would probably disagree with you. Not to mention all of the US support during 1/2 of Saddam's vile atrocities... Ameeerrriiiccaaa fuck ya!!! Here to save the motherfuckin day ya!!! Amerrrica!! Fuck ya!
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    Ya I guess the food sanctions on Iraq were worth it (150,000-1.5 million civilian casualities), or what about the invasion of Iraq (anywhere from 150 thousand - 1.5 million civilian casualties).... Totally worth it. I'm sure all those now murdered by either starvation or bombs would probably disagree with you. Not to mention all of the US support during 1/2 of Saddam's vile atrocities... Ameeerrriiiccaaa fuck ya!!! Here to save the motherfuckin day ya!!! Amerrrica!! Fuck ya!

    that discussion ended a year ago, please continue if you want to burn this thread down to the ground and get it locked otherwise be respectful.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    Hey, Justin, thanks for remembering about this stuff.
    It's true. That law is pretty old. but it looks like they are constantly modifying it to cut off things they forgot in the first place. Like social networks. Though it's hard to say that they need any laws 'cause all internet goes through the government and every time something political going on they have unexpected technical difficulties with facebook, vkontakte, twitter, everything else related to dissidence and even skype.

    Speaking of browsing foreign sites being a misdemeanor, they can't possibly monitor every single person, so it's more of an excuse to get to someone they want to get to.
    But in public places you can't even use wi-fi without showing your ID that will be carefully written down as well as all your browsing history. Also any kind of "unwanted" sites are blocked from public places.

    Though they have a bunch of other laws about protecting the honor and dignity of the president, and destabilizing stability in the republic of belarus that they can punish people with, for what they do on the internet rather then where they do it.
    And technically this thread alone is enough for a jail time if someone really wants it to be.

    This summer around three thousands peaceful protesters as well just random people passing by has got minor jailtime under false accusations of "cussing in the public place". No one was cussing of course, it's just that they needed an excuse to get people off the streets. Oh an clapping was also outlawed recently, 'cause it became a form of public protest. It was funny to see the dictator giving a speech on WWII Victory day with no one clapping and those who do were just taken away.

    A friend of mine was coming out the store at a wrong time - during another peaceful protest session - she got 10 days in jail for just walking by and she's not the only one.And no shit they even arrested for clapping a guy with one hand.

    There's also a law that prohibits public gathering of more than 3 people if the police sees it as a political demonstration.

    But the most horrible law is about law enforcement that says that a policeman has a right to kill a person if
    a)his life is danger
    b)other people's life is danger
    c)in other cases specified by the president of the rеpublic of bеlаrus

    And, well, thanks for you support guys. I appreciate all the kind words.
    ...I hope you know how to use a rifle. It looks like the unfortunate time for such things has come in your part of the world.

    GarageBay9 I've been thinking about it. A lot. And I really hope you don't realize how horrible it is when you're seriously considering manslaughter. Just to silently stick a knife between some officers ribs, during another "peaceful prоtest", and then slowly twist it looking into his eyes as he dies...'cause that fucker well deserves it.

    But I've let it go.
    I've been talking to people a lot. And it's amazing how many people seriously believe that the shit that's going on is right. They just soak the propaganda and then they spit it back at you. People are so used to living with their rights abused since soviet union that don't see it as wrong. Or don't want to see. Everyone has a million excuses about why they should do nothing.
    And it just tears me apart. Imagine putting your ass on the line for a fucking better life just so that the very people that are to enjoy this better life with you would tell you that you're a stupid, prepaid, western cannon fodder. And that's 90% percent of opinions I got. I found very little people worth fighting for and too many content and quite deserving what they've got.
    It's strange talking about patriotism or even belief in people, 'cause generally, I have none left. I don't think things will change here and I don't want them to. There is an exodus of people capable of thinking for themselves and I just hope that more people manage to get out leaving this country to wither and wallow in it's self-proclaimed greatness.

    So now I'm pretty reclusive, going out mostly for food or to take out my special lady friend. I don't read any political news and generally try to not get informed about what's going on in the country. Or even notice it. I just work and wait until I'll be able to get out...'cause otherwise I get really pissed
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 10
    Man, it's strange reading such a personal account of this situation...
    I'm just glad for you you can still get out of the country. With your determination and skill you should really be able to do so some day, if not now already.
  • Furyo
    There comes a time in most people's lives where they realize they cannot win on their own. That time has come and it's high time you get the hell out of dodge...Thankfully that time is soon.
  • Noodle!
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    Noodle! polycounter lvl 8
    I feel for you, d1ver. I can't really add anything to the discussion, just wanted to say you have my sympathies.
  • Maph
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    Maph polycounter lvl 8
    I seriously feel for you man! As many others here, I hope you can get out of the country and land a nice gig in a good country with loads of talented peeps.
    You definitely have the skill and dedication to make that work!

    Your situation really does make me feel like a spoiled brat though...
  • EmAr
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    EmAr polycounter lvl 11
    Hey man, I hope you can find your way through all this stuff.

    I hope the same for myself too.
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    Laurens, Francois, Noodle, Maph, Emre, thank you very much for the kind words guys. I really appreciate it a lot.
    It strange though, 'cause after all this time the attention makes me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable. I've been lucky enough to know that there is another way. If there's someone we should feel sorry for it's the countless blissfully ignorant people, that would refuse to see that their rights are being stripped away even if you shove the fucking red pill down their throats.
    I feel very damn lucky.

    It's unfortunate that things are this way, yet I'm still alive with my head on my shoulders and my hands still firmly attached to my body, and I'll be sure to make things right or die trying.
    I've started out in shit, but so do billions of people on the face of this planet so it's far from a decent excuse to not get what you want.

    And to ease the tension, I technically got a job almost half a year ago. Getting a visa is a very slow process, especially from here. And due to the way some things are it might be dangerous as well. I hope things work out, but if they don't I'll be sure to find another way or...not much of a choice here really.

    Thank you very much for your concern once again.
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 8
    d1ver wrote: »
    GarageBay9 I've been thinking about it. A lot. And I really hope you don't realize how horrible it is when you're seriously considering manslaughter. Just to silently stick a knife between some officers ribs, during another "peaceful prоtest", and then slowly twist it looking into his eyes as he dies...'cause that fucker well deserves it.

    But I've let it go.
    I've been talking to people a lot. And it's amazing how many people seriously believe that the shit that's going on is right. They just soak the propaganda and then they spit it back at you. People are so used to living with their rights abused since soviet union that don't see it as wrong. Or don't want to see. Everyone has a million excuses about why they should do nothing.
    And it just tears me apart. Imagine putting your ass on the line for a fucking better life just so that the very people that are to enjoy this better life with you would tell you that you're a stupid, prepaid, western cannon fodder. And that's 90% percent of opinions I got. I found very little people worth fighting for and too many content and quite deserving what they've got.
    It's strange talking about patriotism or even belief in people, 'cause generally, I have none left. I don't think things will change here and I don't want them to. There is an exodus of people capable of thinking for themselves and I just hope that more people manage to get out leaving this country to wither and wallow in it's self-proclaimed greatness.

    So now I'm pretty reclusive, going out mostly for food or to take out my special lady friend. I don't read any political news and generally try to not get informed about what's going on in the country. Or even notice it. I just work and wait until I'll be able to get out...'cause otherwise I get really pissed

    I hear ya, d1ver. By the way, your English is seriously impressive, and you're obviously a pretty damn educated and smart individual. Don't sell yourself short on the value of that.

    I've never served in the military, but I have looked down the sights on a rifle at another human being. Fortunately it didn't escalate past that, but it's not an experience I cherish or will soon forget - I definitely understand that bouncing around in your head pretty hard. The safety of my home, my son, and my wife were in danger. I'm not going to pretend to be able to imagine what's gone through your head or your heart with all of these events. You're dealing with a world of shit magnitudes greater than anything I've even glimpsed first-hand.

    But I mention it because, being a student of history, your nation is pretty obviously following a very dangerous, very well-known pattern that others have followed, and your life is on the line in some ways. Maybe a lot of ways. Depends on how desperate or reckless or harsh the guy at the top decides he wants to be or needs to be.

    The thing you need to remember is that you shouldn't just consider nice-sounding ideas like freedom or righteousness, things that are good to believe in but are kind of hard to pick up or hug. You, personally, as a living human being with your gifts and knowledge, you have value. And it is NOT wrong for you to protect that, forcefully, if necessary. I was willing to do that for my family; don't sell yourself short and be unwilling to do it for those you love or for yourself, even if you don't feel like doing it for the worthless sheep that swallow the government propaganda.

    That may mean picking up a rifle and walking in dark places.

    It may also mean packing your stuff and making an emergency trip to see a relative who was hurt while on vacation in, oh, let's say the Netherlands. But, y'know, they're hurt pretty bad and you're not sure when you'll be able to come back, so you're bringing enough to stay for a while. You know. In case.

    I suppose the only two things I can offer past that are these:

    1. Getting the hell out of there by any means necessary is absolutely not cowardice. If that's what you decide, I know some people that may be able to help guide you in bugging out ASAP and getting passage / long term residence at a safe destination - IM me and we'll set you up with secure communications. Take what you can pack, grab your ladyfriend, get clear, build a good life in a free country.

    2. Only 3% of the American Colonists supported independence from England at the start of our rebellion.
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