The Future Of The Middle East!

  1. Ok, when Iraq becomes democratic, Im thinking democracy will spread like wildfire to the rest of the Middle East...

    Would the war in Iraq still be wrong even if there were no WMDs?

    *If your answer is that it is still wrong, be prepared for a wave of demogoguery...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Njorl

    Njorl 875
    Science Advisor

    When? I think you mean "If".

    If by Wildfire, you mean those things they had in SoCal, I disagree.

    If you mean that easy listening song by Michael Murphy, then yes, democracy will spread in the Middle east just like that song did.

    Njorl
     
  4. Good answers Njorl!!
     
  5. The middle east becoming democratic is like leading a horse to water.

    You can do it, but you cant make him drink...

    ...unless you strap a siphon to his mouth and force the water in.

    I think the world AND the administration has lost focus here. The intention was never about "democracy in the Middle East." This is a selling point that was concocted in order to sooth the teeming masses long after the assault began. It's oroginal purpose was to justify an invasion that was already justified (remove Saddam before he could burn the world).

    This is a perfect example of how an administration promulgates serious mistakes by catering to popular (er, media) opinion. I am disheartened because the admiration I had for the administration sprang from the fact that they initially promoted policy that was sound, regardless of public opinion. Now, they are going in circles, losing focus, trying to please all the crybabies, and getting absolutely nowhere.
     
  6. I would like a very thurough explanation as to why the middle-east wont embrace democracy... That is, unless you retract your statement. Thx
     
  7. Bystander

    Bystander 3,273
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    Without speaking for Ganshauk, cultural intertia is going to slow down any democratic "wildfire" in the ME; the only "popular" political movement in the area in the past century was the Pan-Arab game --- where is the UAR today? You're looking at a culture that has exhibited an unbelievable stability over the past two (or more) millennia --- rapid, radical change is not too likely an event.
     
  8. This is a strong point, but...

    Wasn't China considered to be stable until Mao?
    Wasn't Yugoslavia under Tito considered to be stable?
    Wasn't Catholocism stable in France before reformation?
    Wasn't South Africa considered to be Stable before Mandella?
    Wasn't Italy before the renaissance considered to be stable?

    I think we all might be surprised by the power of freedom.
     
  9. Bystander

    Bystander 3,273
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    "Stable" is a lousy word to use, but what I meant was that there has been no real change in livelihoods or lifestyles in the area --- the Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, British, French, and whoever else have come and gone, along with assorted religions, strongmen, political movements, you name it, but there has been no real change at the "sand roots" level.

    China stable under Mao? Really? Which 5 year plan, great leap, or cultural revolution are you talking about?

    Yugoslavia under Tito? The Balkans haven't been stable since at least the days of Imperial Rome --- Yugoslavia as an artificial construct of Versaille was about as stable as old dynamite --- not a question of going off, just a matter of when.

    Pre-reformation Catholicism in France? I'd have to hit the books, but what I recall is a damned near endless bloodbath --- stable in a way --- .

    S. Afr. pre-Mandela? Another stick of overage dynamite.

    Pre-rennaissance Italy? No such thing --- Italy is a 19th century emergence.
     
  10. What I find interesting is that while we interpret things completely differently, we kind of agree on some of the basic facts. We both agree that Bush decieves the American people to get his way, although the idea that Iraq was a threat is laughable.
     
  11. I think Iraq was a threat, just not immediate. However, I do know that there was awful stuff going on there and now there is at least less of it, so I think so far so good. I do also disagree, the whole middle east will not become democratic, I think it will be an uphill battle just to keep Iraq democratic when it 'is'. 'is' indicating that for ex.: China is technically a democracy, but any idiot can tell that it is merely so only in the letter, not the spirit, of the definition of democracy. How democratic is it if someone has a gun to your head or if the only guys running for president are corrupt?
     
  12. If Afghanistan is any idication, democracy is unlikely in Iraq...the current draft of their constitution declares Afghanistan as a theocracy...and democracy and religion don't mix.
     
  13. I never hear about Afganistan anymore, and have gotten the impression that we have left it's people on their own, and I do not like that, but I also hear that there are still troops there. I'm a little fuzzy on this, will have to do some research. So they're drafting a constitution? Pretty soon they'll be ruling the world and I still won't be sure if they even have started their gov't yet.
     
  14. Njorl

    Njorl 875
    Science Advisor

    China was in a state of near constant uprising or civil war for about 100 years before Mao.

    Yugoslavia was considered very unstable, held together only because Tito had such power.

    France had many heretical uprisings, the Albigensians/Cathari and many populist communal sects, before the reformation.

    South Africa had significant unrest before Mandela. He was a product of the unrest, not an instigator.

    Italy was constantly torn between the Pope and the Emperor for 400 years before the Renaisance.

    So, in short, no to all of your suppositions.

    Njorl
     
  15. Njorl

    Njorl 875
    Science Advisor

    While I don't think that democracy will spread, I do think there will be one very large benefit for the US if Iraq becomes democratic.

    The US will always want a foothold in an oil producing nation in the middle east. When the Shah of Iran fell, we increased support to Saudi Arabia. We have always supported despotism there. We aid a King in Jordan, and a dictator in Egypt. If we establish a democracy in Iraq, we will be able to cut off support to despots without harming our foreign policy significantly.

    It will not be easy. If Iraq becomes truly democratic, it will be hard to be elected if you have a "pro-American" reputation.

    Democracy will certainly not spread like wildfire, but, we will at least be in a position to stop funding those who actively suppress it.

    Njorl
     
  16. It will not be accepted internationally.
    And by the way US violates the Hague Regulations:

    Bremer's reforms are illegal?
    Bring Halliburton Home by Naomi Klein
    "
    But the "Troops Out" debate overlooks an important fact. If every last soldier pulled out of the Gulf tomorrow and a sovereign government came to power, Iraq would still be occupied: by laws written in the interest of another country, by foreign corporations controlling its essential services, by 70 percent unemployment sparked by public sector layoffs.

    Any movement serious about Iraqi self-determination must call not only for an end to Iraq's military occupation, but to its economic colonization as well. That means reversing the shock therapy reforms that US occupation chief Paul Bremer has fraudulently passed off as "reconstruction" and canceling all privatization contracts flowing from these reforms.

    How can such an ambitious goal be achieved? Easy: by showing that Bremer's reforms were illegal to begin with. They clearly violate the international convention governing the behavior of occupying forces, the Hague Regulations of 1907 (the companion to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, both ratified by the United States), as well as the US Army's own code of war.

    The Hague Regulations state that an occupying power must respect "unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country." The Coalition Provisional Authority has shredded that simple rule with gleeful defiance. Iraq's Constitution outlaws the privatization of key state assets, and it bars foreigners from owning Iraqi firms. No plausible argument can be made that the CPA was "absolutely prevented" from respecting those laws, and yet two months ago, the CPA overturned them unilaterally.

    On September 19, Bremer enacted the now-infamous Order 39. It announced that 200 Iraqi state companies would be privatized; decreed that foreign firms can retain 100 percent ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories; and allowed these firms to move 100 percent of their profits out of Iraq. The Economist declared the new rules a "capitalist dream."

    Order 39 violated the Hague Regulations in other ways as well. The convention states that occupying powers "shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct."
    http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031124&s=klein
    --------
    Centre for Public Integrity (CPI). http://www.publicintegrity.org/dtaweb/home.aspSpecial Report
    U.S. Contractors Reap the Windfalls of Postwar Reconstruction
    (WASHINGTON, October 30, 2003) — More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. Those companies contributed more money to the presidential campaign of George W. Bush—more than $500,000—than to any other politician over the last dozen years, the Center found.>>
     
  17. And if and/or when the middle-east falls to democracy, I wonder where the attributions will lie?

    I knew when I posted those examples, that someone would try to correct me. Seriously, I wonder if when the middle-east succombs to democracy, what other false reasons people will give for the collapse of tradition.

    Your reasons are sensible, and granted it was probably an accumulation of things, but It is my belief that freedom was the chief factor.

    Why do people try to cover up the true pinnacles of humanity?
     
  18. If you knew someone was going to correct you, are you claiming you knew those were false and were just waiting for someone to say you're wrong, or are you convined you are right despite the fact that Njorl seems to know what he's talking about (I don't know if he's right, I'm not a history buff)?
     
  19. If you read my post critically, you would have observed that although njorls points are valid, I believe the primary variable is freedom.
     
  20. Let's talk freedom...Iraq won't have it for a long time. America's first goal is stabilizing the oil exports.
     
  21. Njorl

    Njorl 875
    Science Advisor

    Are you trying to claim that China became free under Mao? Or that Italy became free in the Renaissance? How about you get your encyclopedia and look up the Borgias, the Medici's, Francesco Sforza, Bernabo Visconti and a few other Renaissance tyrants.

    Njorl
     
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