Give credit where credit is due in the Middle East

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  • #26
BobG
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I wouldn't put it to that extreme.

But, I am pretty cynical about the idea that the US can step in to save the day for every problem that occurs there. There's a lot of problems that were left from European colonization (in Africa and Asia, as well as the Middle East). Everywhere a European country botched things up and the US, as the succeeding world power, stepped in thinking we could do a better job, we seem to have had as many problems as the previous outsider did.

Maybe it's the whole idea that an outsider can build a country for them rather than the previous outsiders just being incompetent.
 
  • #27
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Ok, maybe it is a bit extreme. You're right. Thats also why I said Kind of. Moot point. Anyway, why is that all these countries that have these problems let things escalate so much until it becomes necessary for a third part to step in so they DON'T kill each other? The world is full of intelligent people, many of whom live in these countries. If a group of them got together with good intentions and a vision on how to make their country better, why can't they set up a government on their own? I understand its not he easiest recipe in the book. Why can't they clean up their act and get things together instead of agruing, moaning, and complaining about the U.S. and other countries being in the Middle East? Did it ever occur to them that we'll leave when the region is more stable?
 
  • #28
SOS2008
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Zlex said:
WWII was fought imperfectly, at great cost. ...But, thankfully to an entire generation, it was waged, even if we all wish it never had to have been.
In reading a recent article by Fred Kaplan, the Boston Globe's New York bureau chief, its former military correspondent, and the author of The Wizards of Armageddon, I began reading earlier articles in which Kaplan “has debunked other historical analogies," beginning in 2002, to 2003, up to present 2005:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2072167/ [Broken]
Bush's Cuban Missile Fantasy
2002 and 1962: No comparison.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2002

And in reply to this analogy:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2089987/ [Broken]
Iraq's Not Germany
What a 60-year-old Allen Dulles speech can teach us about postwar reconstruction.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Friday, Oct. 17, 2003

“One significant obstacle in the rebuilding of Germany was that a huge debate was still raging in U.S. political circles over whether Germany should be rebuilt at all…The Marshall Plan was not announced until March 1947. Congress didn't pass the Economic Cooperation Act, which put the plan into motion, until April 1948. The Marshall Plan poured $13.3 billion into all of Western Europe from 1948-51. West Germany received only $1.4 billion (the equivalent today of $8.5 billion, adjusted for inflation). By this measure, postwar Iraq has already received more aid than postwar Germany ever did, making even more dubious any comparison between the two countries*. ” Yet the danger and disorder in Iraq are, in many ways, more severe.

Germany nonetheless recovered as fully as it did, in large part, because the country had substantial experience with capitalism and, though more briefly, democracy. It was a Western nation long before Hitler; it required only a restoration, not a transformation, to become a Western nation after Hitler. The same cannot be said of Iraq before Saddam.”
http://slate.msn.com/id/2090114/ [Broken]

From Baghdad to Manila
Another lousy analogy for the occupation of Iraq.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2003

And for the most recent that I saw:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2114659/?GT1=6208 [Broken]
The Beirut Wall Isn't Falling
Why Berlin 1989 isn't the right analogy for today's Middle East.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Walid Jumblatt, a longtime leader of Lebanon's intifada, caused something of a stir last week when he said of the election in Iraq and the subsequent uprisings in his own country, "Something is happening, the Berlin Wall is falling, we can see it."

The tumbling of the Berlin Wall was the product of a peculiar convergence of events. The Soviet empire was collapsing. The Soviet president was a singular man, Mikhail Gorbachev, who actively pushed for reform and Westernization (which he hoped would avert collapse but in fact accelerated it). Meanwhile, indigenous democratic movements were fomenting within the empire (Lech Walesa's Solidarity in Poland, Václav Havel's Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, the perpetual secessionists in the Baltics). Detente, black markets, and jam-free broadcasts had whetted an appetite for Western ways. The nations suffering a generation of Soviet rule—especially the Baltics, East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia—had longer traditions of democracy, capitalism, and European cosmopolitanism. Finally, their anti-Soviet sentiments were blooming in a bipolar world; repulsion toward Moscow translated very easily into attraction toward America. When the wall came down in '89 and the Soviet Union itself imploded two years later, the adoption (or resumption) of Western-style democracy was natural; emissaries from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the CIA, McDonald's, and all the rest were, at least initially, most welcome.

So, three questions arise from the stirrings of 2005. First, are they real movements or brief flashes? …Second, if these movements are successful, what will they do next? Will an Islamic Republic of Iraq seek alliance with Iran? What effect will that have on Iraq's Sunnis and Kurds, to say nothing of Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel? If Syrian troops do pull out of Lebanon, what role will Hezbollah play in an independent Lebanese government? What effect might that have on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks? If Egyptians really do choose their own leaders, what's the chance that they'll elect the Muslim Brotherhood to power?

Third, what does President Bush plan to do about these developments in the meantime? It's a tricky situation. …it's a matter of indigenous culture, sheer luck, shrewd diplomacy, or brute force. Which way it goes will depend on some mix of all four. No outcome is inevitable. History is molded, not fated. Euphoria, for the moment, is beside the point.”
 
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  • #29
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That's an intriguing fact. I had no idea that Iraq has already received more postwar funding that Germany did. It doesn't really shock me though because of how inflation has affected the value of money in today's world. I'm curious to know who had/s more post war damage: Iraq or Germany?
 
  • #30
SOS2008
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misskitty said:
That's an intriguing fact. I had no idea that Iraq has already received more postwar funding that Germany did. It doesn't really shock me though because of how inflation has affected the value of money in today's world. I'm curious to know who had/s more post war damage: Iraq or Germany?
Per the quoted article: "West Germany received only $1.4 billion (the equivalent today of $8.5 billion, adjusted for inflation)." Good question about comparison of damage. That will remain to be seen -- who knows how long the insurgency will continue, etc.
 
  • #31
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I hope that it doesn't last very much longer. Part of the reason of why I asked who had more postwar damage is because I think the government might try to predict a cost of reconstrustion for Iraq then over shoot the budget by a few zeros. We shall see.
 
  • #32
BobG
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Maybe Bush's Iraq invasion was more well-timed to capitalize on pro-democratic momentum in the Middle East rather than being the spark that started a pro-democratic movement.

This was the state of democracy in the Middle East in February of 2001, prior to 9/11, Afghanistan, etc. - The Fast Eat The Slow

Interesting comments about Al-Jazeera, as well. Prior to 9/11, Al-Jazeera was the little known hero of Arabic journalism, being the only semi-independent Arab TV station; the only Arabic TV station willing to broadcast information many of the Arab governments in the region didn't like. The first most of America heard about the Al-Jazeera was the Bin Laden tapes - one that definitely influenced our impression of the station - and their coverage of Afghanistan and Iraq post-9/11 hasn't done much to change our impression. Here's an article about Al-Jazeera, itself - In Defense of Aj-Jazeera.
 
  • #33
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The Clinton administration was much worse than the Bush administration.
I take large offence to that statement, Clinton wasn't for warring with nations to promote his policies, he was a behind the scenes sort of guy, he helped influence saudi arabia, and peace in a multitude of other nations which still last today. The Crowned Prince of Saudi Arabia now believes in womens rights and has a distaste for war, whereas before, both him and his father controled a country that had some of the fiersest terrorists known to man.

Also after the middle of the page i simply skimmed the rest of it so sorry if im restating something here, but the US is very hard pressed about the israeli situation, because if they support the palistinians then we loose all of the support of the rest of the arab worlds(no christian nation will attack an arab nation situation) whereas we feel a connection with the palestinians through religion and dont wish to fight israel. Also Israel has the worlds second best trained army, so its not like we could just walk in and dominate.

Also this is a very touchy subject on our reasoning behind invading iraq, now personaly my view is that it was primarily to have a foothold in the oil industry in the middle east. Proof of which is evident in the fact that when we took baghdad where did we send our military? to the foreign officials buildings? not really, we sent them to the oil industry headquarters. Now dont get me wrong, saddam should have been taken out of power, but he should have been taken out of power the right way, we say WMDs, find none, ok now lets get another reason, something our intelligence agencies have been reporting on for years now, such as his chemical weapons testing? personaly i believe that would have brought a much swifter and peacefull end to his "regime".

Also our pre emptive strike policy, though i dont agree with it, is working. Syria has seen what we are doing, same with pakistan and many others, and they have been agreeing to take steps toward democracy and more rights for there people.
 
  • #34
kat
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Clinton wasn't for warring with nations to promote his policies, he was a behind the scenes sort of guy,
Heh. I won't say it..really I won't......Eeeee it hurts.....
 

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