Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Should we help Iraq become a democracy

  1. Sep 22, 2005 #1
    If so, should we change the way we are currently doing it?

    If not, why?

    Should we have left things the way they were with Saddam?

    I'm starting this thread because I see we have a large Left audience.

    I think believe we did the right thing by ousting Saddam but I don't believe we needed the WMD threat as a reason. We all knew that was an excuse from the beginning.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2005 #2
    By blowing it up?
  4. Sep 22, 2005 #3
    Um, no. I'm sorry, I didn't think to address that up in the original post.

    "We absolutely should not blow up Iraq in order to make it Democracy."

  5. Sep 22, 2005 #4
    If we don't help Iraq form a government, it is possible that they would not form one themselves and possibly another person would come to power or something like that. Do you think democracy is a bad choice of government for Iraq?
  6. Sep 22, 2005 #5
    Democracy is the best form of government for humans, IMO. But, I don't believe it is necessarily good for the Muslim culture and religeous value system. And that is one of the reasons so many of them are threatened by us. Their way of life is going to change drastically as a Democracy.
  7. Sep 22, 2005 #6
    At best, with the presence of American troops, Iraq will become a Theocracy/Democracy. What will happen when we finaly leave will probably be pretty nasty.
  8. Sep 22, 2005 #7
    1) Iraq is where it is because of the US, and since we were not invited we should help Iraq to remain an independent sovereign nation regardless of governmental system.

    2) Since regime change is illegal the excuse of WMD was necessary. Was regime change necessary? Perhaps, but it was not necessary to do it the way it was done.
  9. Sep 22, 2005 #8
    Yes, Iraq is where it is NOW because of the US. Should we have ousted Saddam in the first place? Uninvited by... who? Noone was allowed to invite us. Actually, (I believe) we were invited by some Iraqi's in the north but they weren't an official governing people because of Saddam.

    What are other ways to change the regime aside from the way we did it? Assissination? CIA infiltration/manipulation? Continue giving opposing people weapons and training? I don't see any other way to do it. I would like to know what you believe we could have done another way.
  10. Sep 22, 2005 #9
    OK, then, how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis should die in order to create a democracy?
  11. Sep 22, 2005 #10


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF deckart. When I first began participating in this forum posts were mostly right-wing. In any event, alternatives to a military invasion have been discussed before, but probably before you were a member.

    First I feel it is important to review the role of America in the world and formulate a clear foreign policy of when it is appropriate to intervene in troubled regions, and if so how intervention should take place. And it should not only be our ideals, but it should be realistic. And then to be consistent about it. Here is an exercise--review modern history along with current situations in the world. When do you feel the U.S. should have intervened in the past, and where would the U.S intervene now, and how would that invention be carried out realistically?

    Second, asking for a solution to Saddam presumes there was a problem egregious enough to need a solution. Personally I don't feel there was sufficient cause to oust Saddam. There were human rights violations, but such violations occur everywhere at some level or another, and there are countries were these violations are far worse than in Iraq. Certainly there was no "clear and present danger" against our country. There wasn't even renewed threats to the safety of other countries. And if aggressions had reached a level of threat, then we should have taken action as an international force.
  12. Sep 22, 2005 #11
    Good point, why did we pick on Saddam? Alot of people say it's oil, and I'm sure there is alot of truth to that. Now that we are committed, we are partaking on enormous Middle Eastern culture experiment.

    Having a clear foreign policy on when to take such action would be nice. But, I imagine that will be slanted depending on who the administration is at the time.

    As far as TRC's question I'd have to respond with another. How many Americans died for the US to create and remain a Democracy? And do you believe it was worth it?
  13. Sep 22, 2005 #12


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The Middle East has always been considered a strategic area because of oil, and I'm sure there are those in the oil business who influence Bush--but removal of Saddam was a personal goal for him. Should presidents pursue personal goals or should they pursue policies in the best interest of the American people?

    I don't see the invasion of Iraq as particularly novel or experimental. There are already democratic forms of government in the Middle East, economic wealth that has allowed "nation building" from within, and Iran was very Westernized under the Shah.

    International law is not affected by changing administrations in the U.S., and foreign policy should at least show respect for these laws. As for death tolls, it's one thing to sacrifice American lives to preserve democracy in America, but a little more questionable when asked to do so elsewhere in the world.
  14. Sep 23, 2005 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I disagree with the second sentence. I believe the main reason Bush was able to generate support for the invasion was because people took the threat of WMD seriously and they believed Saddam was linked to terrorist attacks on the US. If everyone knew it was an excuse from the beginning, there would have been little reason to even toss the 'excuse' out there.

    That means there are two problems with invading Iraq.

    One is that the invasion was the first time in history that the US has started a war without provocation. Invading Iraq because of past greivances isn't that much different than Iraq's original invasion of Kuwait for past greivances. That isn't something most Americans like to identify themselves with.

    The second is that it isn't feasible to base a years-long war on lies. Unless you can hide the truth for the duration of the war, support for the war will wither and there will be little chance for success. Hoping there might be enough of a remnant of WMD hidden somewhere to prop up the original lie was a huge gamble that Bush lost. Now we're stuck in a hard place where leaving will be extremely bad and staying will be almost equally bad.
  15. Sep 23, 2005 #14
    The topic of this thread is irrelevent. Should we help any group of people trying to free themselves (this being the operative case) from an oppressive government to become a democracy? In my view yes. Should we invade a country using a series of decreasingly plausable reasons to force our view of government upon a people who are not actively involved in a civil war or coup or some form of internal strife and moving toward a democracy on their own to begine with? NO. The thing is we did the latter with no more foresight than a 3 y/o child posses. We did not grasp the consequences(I say we as in the Bush admin) of our actions and if we did then we hid the consequences from the public(Cheney and the like promises ticker-tape parades: we got 200 supporters flown in from the US at a statue toppeling ceramony).

    The whole premise of theis thread is false because it pre-supposes the Iraqi people as a whole or in significant part wanted us to do this. This thread pre-supposes we have rolled time back three years and are in a postion to decide if what we are about to do is right our not. We are there. Things are failing. We are bankrupt(in the sense of our grand project of spreading democracy at the end of a barrel). We need to leave.
  16. Sep 23, 2005 #15


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I agree, and why I posted this:
    I can never get a Bush supporter to grasp this--it isn't simplistic enough and ruins everything.
  17. Sep 23, 2005 #16
    To avoid repeating what others have already answered, I will quote from their posts (with questions in bold).

    Should we help Iraq become a democracy?
    So far $200 billion has been spent on Iraq, and it is still a mess. This is the same amount estimated to rebuild New Orleans--except it would be rebuilt. No, we did not do the right thing. It was a huge mistake.
  18. Sep 23, 2005 #17
    In fact, polls show that there is still a relatively high percentage of deluded morons who believe that Saddam had WMDs and/or ties to Al-Qaeda.

    As far as I can tell, this forum is mostly populated with moderates fed up with Bush's machinations (such as myself). Thinking that Bush is the worst thing to happen to this country since the Vietnam War does not automatically make you a leftie.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook