News Difficulties of Making Iraq republican

This is a thread to discuss problems associated with giving Iraq a republican (with a lower-case 'r'!) form of government. I will start with an article from the Orlando Sentinel.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/orl-aseciraqfamilies28092803sep28,0,5552355.story?coll=orl-home-headlines [Broken]
...in a country where nearly half of marriages are between first or second cousins, a statistic that is one of the more important and least understood differences between Iraq and America. The extraordinarily strong family bonds complicate virtually everything Americans are trying to do here, from finding Saddam Hussein to changing women's status to creating a liberal democracy.

Iraqis frequently describe nepotism not as a civic problem but as a moral duty. The notion that Iraq's next leader would put public service ahead of family obligations drew a smile from Iqbal's uncle and father-in-law, Sheik Yousif Sayel.

"In this country, whoever is in power will bring his relatives in from the village and give them important positions," Sheik Yousif said, sitting in the garden surrounded by some of his 21 children and 83 grandchildren. "That is what Saddam did, and now those relatives are fulfilling their obligation to protect him from the Americans."
 
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Hey, there's nothing like martyring a leader to calm the Palestinian nepotism extremists.
 

Njorl

Science Advisor
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The patronage system is exacerbated by Iraq's oil wealth. In an nation with a widely diverse economic base, it is difficult to control all the various economic power structures - unions, trade associations, corporations etc. In a monolithic, oil economy, whoever controls oil has enormous power. If the Iraqi government keeps it as a state controlled industry, the government winds up with tremendous control of people's livelihood - influencing elections disproportionately. If they try to sell it off, it is almost inconcievable that it would be done without a lot of corruption, ala the Soviet Union.

They might do best making an independent government entity, somewhat like the Federal reserve here in the US, but with control of oil policy rather than monetary policy. The policy making entity would have no patronage power - no power to hire or fire, just the power to decide what should be done, set prices and production level etc. This would at least spread the corruption out a bit. Make different entities compete for the corruption, and you might even get fair practices eventually!

Njorl
 

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