Monday, March 7, 2022

Selective condemnation

Ivan UR8GX (SK)
One of the most memorable QSO's I've ever heard on the ham bands was in 1979. I was only a listener myself - the QSO was on 20m SSB between a ham in Michigan and a ham in Soviet Russia.

At that time, the world was gearing up for the Olympics - the games garnered much more attention back then than they do now. The 1980 Olympics took place in Moscow.

The ham in Michgan was lamenting the fact that the US and many other countries would not be participating due to the USSR's recent invasion of Afghanistan.

What made the QSO memorable was the fact that the Russian ham did not know that his country was at war. Tass, Izvestia and Pravda did their bit to keep Soviet citizens mis- or uninformed to an extent that citizens of western countries could not (then) imagine.

The QSO was emotional and met with denial - I'll never forget it. It was a lesson to me of how much control can be exerted against an entire country, with the population not even being aware of it, at least to any significant extent.

Much criticism arose from people saying that sports and politics should be separate with each uninfluenced by the other. But Jimmy Carter (D) - up until a year ago, the worst president the US has ever had - convinced a total of more than 60 countries to boycott the Olympics.


Fred AA7BQ has received criticism for his temporary decision to remove Russian callsigns from his database in response to Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

Unfortunately, he reversed his decision after a few hours.

The RSGB issued a statement three days ago that "Russian and Belarusian radio amateurs are currently ineligible to participate in any event that is organised/sponsored by the RSGB."

Netflix and other media platforms have enacted similar measures. 

Many say that ham radio and politics should be independent of each other and that the hobby should continue to "enhance international goodwill". But war is not politics.

RIP, Ivan UR8GX.




ON5ZO said...

Sad state of affairs.

UR8GX is in my contest logs 25 times over the last decade. That makes him a guy who shares my love for contesting and CW.

No sane (wo)man can say we couldn't have seen this coming. The whole wall was covered in writing! And yet...

RIP OM UR8GX. Thanks for having been part of the hobby. There is no way to justify the loss.

Franki ON5ZO

John AE5X said...

Your last statement, X 10.

"Enhance international goodwill" is best served by remembering our kindred spirits in the hobby as they go through what is happening in Ukraine - not by acquiescing and remaining silent because some small thinkers say not to mix ham radio & politics. Some things in this world supersede simplistic mottos.


Unknown said...

Very Kind words John , The Ham Spirit shall remain inside our community far away from human spupidity. We have hust lost Yvan who was a member of our community and this really a very sad day Really !!!!
F5NPV Op Didier

John AE5X said...

GM Didier, - hopefully, it will end soon and life can return to some semblance of normal.