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Should refugees be a basis for taking territory to compensate the international community?

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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:45 PM
Original message
Should refugees be a basis for taking territory to compensate the international community?
If a country has been neither attacked nor invaded in recent history and is not being occupied by another power, then what excuse is there for it to create refugees? Shouldn't it lose territory to compensate the international community for providing refuge and to reduce the amount of territory controlled by governments that turn citizens into refugees?
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Historically, when the international community abitrarily assigns borders, bad things happen.
I doubt that your proposal would work in light of this.
Plus, you ignore refugees can be created by environmental disaster or economic failure, which is not always the fault of the originating country.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Historically, when conquest and warfare create borders, do good things happen?
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. No. But many of todays borders were settled a long time ago.
Some, a very long time ago.

Time allows group identity to change.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. When people are murdered, deported, or forced to flee,
there's a change in the group that previously included the deceased/deportee/refugee.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. This seems to be the opposite of flame bait and in need of a kick.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. Kick
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
7. Your posts continue to mystify me. Do you have a point?
Do you have a certain country in mind? Mexico? China? Greenland?

What is it you're trying to say?
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. "Do you have a certain country in mind? Mexico? China? Greenland?"
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 11:55 AM by Boojatta
No, I can give examples to illustrate the ideas, but this is not some special case situation. There's a general principle involved and it doesn't seem to me that the problem to be solved is very complex or esoteric.

There are many cases in history (including relatively recent history) of a country using military force to absorb a neighboring country. Such aggressive acts are sometimes highly popular both in the government of the aggressive country and among the general public of the aggressive country. George Orwell recognized this when he chose, in his novel 1984, to make an effective act of aggression by Big Brother against a foreign country evoke love of Big Brother in Winston Smith.

Now, suppose we consider a somewhat general hypothetical. The government of tribe A attacks tribe B and takes control of the territory that previously was controlled by tribe B. Now tribe A has more land. If the territory that was controlled by tribe B was an official member nation of the UN, then we are now able to say that there is a written rule of international law that the government of tribe A violated. This should be clear.

However, some similar actions are considered to be highly dissimilar in international law. For example, consider "ethnic cleansing" in the former Yugoslavia or massacres in Darfur. More generally, suppose that it is possible to classify some people within a particular country as "tribally type B" in contrast with the main body of "tribally type A" citizens. It is then possible for a government to acquire or absorb, without violating the rule of international law mentioned above, land owned by the people who have been classified as "tribally type B." They can be simply killed or they can be forced to become refugees. Their jobs, homes, farms or other land, and personal property become available to "tribally type A" citizens.

To me, the situations are quite similar. However, in international law as written today, it seems that efforts to prevent or halt the massacre or deportation of tribally type B people are liable to be classified as a violation of international law on the grounds that they "violate sovereignty." Moreover, in addition to being classified as a violation of international law, they may also be unpopular. For example, it is ironic but true that many people decry efforts to prevent or halt massacres and deportations on the grounds that such efforts are "racist."

The above analysis is in truth not particularly general. If coincidentally there had been an ethnic difference between people in colonial America who wanted to achieve independence from Britain and people in colonial America who wanted to remain under British control, then the deportation of people loyal to the British crown could have been easily portrayed as ethnic cleansing when in reality there was a civil war based on alternative and conflicting visions of law and justice. It is well-known that deportations and civil wars have resulted from conflicts over religion. We can generalize beyond ethnicity and religion to almost anything.

There is one exception: conflicting visions of law and justice leading to an intractable conflict that a government is unable to keep peaceful. This can provoke deportations that are conceptually distinct from ethnic or religious cleansing. After all, if differences in systems of law were merely a technical detail, then the best long-run strategy to deal with the Axis powers (i.e. the WWII-era governments of Germany, Japan, and Italy) would have been to assist them in conquering more territory and neither remain neutral nor resist the conquests. If it doesn't matter what the laws are or what kind of government we have, then the UK, America, and the USSR could have been spared both WWII and the cold war by allowing the whole world to become one nation under Axis government.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kick to elicit more comments and questions.
Expressions of genuine incomprehension or genuine disgust will be appreciated.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
10. Kick to encourage one person who isn't a DU member to join DU and post a reply.
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 07:17 PM by Boojatta
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. Kick because one mystery DU member recommended this thread
Edited on Sat Jul-26-08 05:20 PM by Boojatta
before the time ran out. I'm not asking you to disclose your identity. I'm just assuming that you're not unique and that someone else might also consider this thread good enough to recommend and therefore worth reading.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Kick
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-26-08 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kick
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