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U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq  
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2129 times:

For all those war supporters on here, crowing about this wonderful "Democracy" in Iraq, better take a read it this one. It may burst your bubble about one of your dreams for the region.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/08/22/iraq.democracy/index.html

Again, you cannot just tell someone "you will have Democracy", and it will take. If the people there don't want it, they won't have it, no matter what. And George W. Bush wanting it so will not make it so.

Again, this may be another indicator as to what this upcoming report on Iraq will spell out. While it is nice to see a little dose of common sense in the reality of Iraq, the fact it's taken 5 years for it to take hold is just embarrassing.

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAllstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2116 times:

This is one of the few times I'm sure I'll agree with the Council on Foreign Relations. Democracy simply can't be instilled into a country - it needs to grow from within.

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Again, you cannot just tell someone "you will have Democracy", and it will take. If the people there don't want it, they won't have it, no matter what.

 checkmark 


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2111 times:

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 1):
Democracy simply can't be instilled into a country - it needs to grow from within.

 checkmark  I tend to avoid these Iraq threads but I got to say that one country cannot force democracy into another country. Its just impossible to do. These people in Iraq has got to go it alone and figure it out for themselves. And they won't figure it out until the U.S. troops are gone. Plain and simple. But until then, they will keep blowing themselves up in public squares.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineSeb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11798 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

Someone a few years ago pointed something out to me. He said something like Westerners with a Christian back ground are trying to make a nomadic people with Islamic back ground change "over night." The people of Iraq worship Allah and didn't understand fully they were ruled by a tyrant. They were doing what the letter of the law was under Saddam and under Islam. Now, there is a group lead by (mostly) Christians telling them what they have to do. Doesn't that seem wrong to anyone else? They didn't know they needed or wanted "democracy" until they were told they needed it.


Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3509 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2091 times:

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 3):
Someone a few years ago pointed something out to me. He said something like Westerners with a Christian back ground are trying to make a nomadic people with Islamic back ground change "over night."

The vast majority of Iraqis cannot be labeled as "nomadic". Not now, not under Saddam. Iraq actually has (had) some of the most advanced public infrastructure in the Middle East.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 3):
The people of Iraq worship Allah and didn't understand fully they were ruled by a tyrant.

Like hell they didn't. Where do you come up with this stuff?

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 3):
They were doing what the letter of the law was under Saddam and under Islam.

Iraq wasn't a theocracy under Saddam.

Quoting Seb146 (Reply 3):
They didn't know they needed or wanted "democracy" until they were told they needed it.

Again, how did you come to this conclusion? From everything I saw, they were thrilled to have their country back when Saddam was toppled...they certainly weren't planning on having the United States stick around though.

That said, true "democracy" isn't what the Bush administration wants in Iran...for the very same reasons why Bush I left the Shiites and Kurds out to dry when they rose up in 1991: they don't like the prospects for who will end up in charge.



Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 63
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2084 times:

Maybe the best for Iraq now would be secular, authoritarian figure, maybe somebody from the military, but with less of a mafia don attitude and less corrupt than Saddam Hussein and his cronies.
I think that currently the Iraqi society is still too much stuck a feudalist and tribalist culture.
The only problem is that such a figure would most likely come from the banned Baath party.

Jan


User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3509 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2079 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
Maybe the best for Iraq now would be secular, authoritarian figure, maybe somebody from the military, but with less of a mafia don attitude and less corrupt than Saddam Hussein and his cronies.

Scary idea, but pretty much what Reagan and Bush I wanted. The Iran-Iraq War really screwed up Saddam's standing in Washington.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
The only problem is that such a figure would most likely come from the banned Baath party.

Perhaps, but that doesn't mean much. Baath party membership was required to hold virtually any position in government under Saddam, so many if not most Iraqis joined for the sake of their careers rather than their political ideology--precisely why banning Baath party members from the new Iraqi government without assessing a member's actual loyalty to Saddam Hussein was such an incredibly stupid thing for the CPA to do. Not only did they end up banning anyone who knew anything about Iraq's government, infrastructure, society, etc, they created a vast pool of unemployed, thoroughly pissed-off Iraqis.



Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2075 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
Again, you cannot just tell someone "you will have Democracy", and it will take. If the people there don't want it, they won't have it, no matter what. And George W. Bush wanting it so will not make it so.

"Millions of Iraqis went to the polls to cast ballots, something that generated great promise for the establishment of a democratic system."
Care to explain that?

There are people in this country, like you Falcon, who will say that "this President is not my President!" does that mean you want democracy any less?

How about the people of Japan? Did they "want" democracy in 1945? The South Koreans? The South Vietnamese? Just because the political leaders aren't what you hoped they'd be does not mean the people themselves do not want democracy and nothing in that report says so. That's the great thing about a democracy, when the time comes, you can vote someone else in. If the people of Iraq don't show up to vote next time around, then this article holds water.

Until then all this article is attempting to do is take the news off the fact that even Sen. Carl Levin D-MI thinks the surge is working.

[Edited 2007-08-23 07:40:33]

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 63
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 7):
Again, you cannot just tell someone "you will have Democracy", and it will take. If the people there don't want it, they won't have it, no matter what. And George W. Bush wanting it so will not make it so.

"Millions of Iraqis went to the polls to cast ballots, something that generated great promise for the establishment of a democratic system."
Care to explain that?

There are people in this country, like you Falcon, who will say that "this President is not my President!" does that mean you want democracy any less?

How about the people of Japan? Did they "want" democracy in 1945? The South Koreans? The South Vietnamese? Just because the political leaders aren't what you hoped they'd be does not mean the people themselves do not want democracy and nothing in that report says so. That's the great thing about a democracy, when the time comes, you can vote someone else in. If the people of Iraq don't show up to vote next time around, then this article holds water.

There are some immense differences between Germany and Japan after WW2 and the Iraq.
First, both countries got thouroughly defeated and it was shown to the population. Speaking of Western Germany, up to 1949, the country was under a military dictatorship by the commanding generals of the occupying forces.
There were Allied troops in every village, any resistance was ruthlessly exterminated (e.g. when SS members of a "Wwerewolf" guerilla unit killed the new mayor of Aachen to set an example not to collaborate with the Americans, they were quickly captured, court martialed and executed, with the executions being well published).
Similar incidents happened e.g. in the British zone of occupation (Here in Wismar, the sign reads: "This man opened fire on our sentries during the night from the 3rd to the 4th of May"):

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v174/jkrusat/ParasNazi.jpg
They also made it clear that they were lenient, but could be extremely tough (Morgenthau plan anyone?)
What also helped was the collective feeling of guilt after the pictures and other evidence of the Nazi crimes got released.

Also, after the first two years (where e.g. the German industry was dismanteled as punishment) , the western Allies realised that they would need the incentive of improving the living conditions of the Germans to prevent a repeat of the early 1920s after the Versailles treaty. So the dismanteling was stopped, living conditions improved, the three western zones united, slowly local selfdetermination under Allied supervision was introduced (first on village level, later ncreased) and, together with the monetary reform (introduction of the Deutschmark), living conditions in Germany improved, so that this time (unlike in 1920) democracy was seen as something positive, not as a punishment. At the same time the Allies kept a close eye on what was happening, ready to step in at any time.
It helped that both Japan and Germany have been democracies in the past, with people (from exile) ready to step in as well.

Effectively we only gained full souvereignity after 50 years. The whole process came step by step.

Jan


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21865 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2057 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 7):
"Millions of Iraqis went to the polls to cast ballots, something that generated great promise for the establishment of a democratic system."
Care to explain that?

Voting does not a democracy make. Saddam's Iraq was proof enough of that - he was "elected" over and over again by stunning margins. Nor does a democracy a stable country make. Africa is proof of that - many African nations are democratic, but few are stable.

Iraq may be a democracy now, but I doubt that it will be a functioning one for some time. That was to be expected - true democracy cannot be forced on someone. It will come eventually, but there is very little that one can do to hurry it along.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2055 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
I tend to avoid these Iraq threads but I got to say that one country cannot force democracy into another country. Its just impossible to do. These people in Iraq has got to go it alone and figure it out for themselves. And they won't figure it out until the U.S. troops are gone. Plain and simple. But until then, they will keep blowing themselves up in public squares.

I think that what you describe here sounds a bit like a civil war. Matter of fact is that the current Iraq is a very young republic, and like a small child is trying to crawl before it starts walking and so forth. I wish I knew the answer to make it better, but I'm no politician or military strategist. What I do know is that the current course seems not to be working, and I hope that our leaders, the Iraqi leaders, and the rest of the world are working on a solution. Will Iraq one day become a great democracy like Japan, as someone else mentioned? Who knows, but that's something that the Iraqis themselves have to figure out.

Many lessons will come from this invasion/occupation of Iraq; our hope is that we have learned from it. I think we already have.

Charles


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2030 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 8):
It helped that both Japan and Germany have been democracies in the past, with people (from exile) ready to step in as well.

Germany yes, Japan in name only. There were many people in this country that were skeptical that Japan could be remade into a democracy, if for no other reason than the fact the emperor was revered as a God. You are correct in the fact that democracies take time. It took our country 11 years from the time we declared independence to the time we ratified our Constitution. The Iraqis are significantly ahead of that time line.

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):
Saddam's Iraq was proof enough of that - he was "elected" over and over again by stunning margins.

As were Soviet leaders and as is Fidel Castro. That does not mean they lived (live) in a democracy. Those votes were open to inspection by the ruling power. This past election was a secret ballot, free and fair, which is vastly different than the "votes" you describe.

As long as the people of Iraq support the idea of a freely and fairly elected government then they are saying they want a democracy. As we see in the United States, one party may vehemently disagree with the other but in the end they both allow the system to work. In Iraq once the outlaws are put down and the government gets a chance to work, then the people will be able to see the greater benefit and perhaps will be less inclined to say nothing when terrorists try and take over the country by force.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13199 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2026 times:

We may never see something of a representative democracy in Iraq, indeed we don't want that if it leads to an Islamic Theocracy as in Iran. The USA and it's allies really want a government that will be friendly to them and not to Russia and China, that will pump out all the oil we want, allow our oil companies to take over the oil business there, get all the equipment for the oil business come from the USA and EC, not support terrorists, to recognize Israel but not terrorize or repress to it's own people as Saddam did.

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1995 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 11):
Germany yes, Japan in name only. There were many people in this country that were skeptical that Japan could be remade into a democracy, if for no other reason than the fact the emperor was revered as a God. You are correct in the fact that democracies take time. It took our country 11 years from the time we declared independence to the time we ratified our Constitution. The Iraqis are significantly ahead of that time line.

Building a democracy absolutely requires a fundamental societal consensus. Prior democratic experience is a plus, but not nearly as relevant.

The main issue in Iraq is not whether or not iraqis fancy going to an election - it is the problem that there are several powerful groups which have no trust whatsoever that the respective other groups won't kill them if they have the opportunity.

That is why Iraq is still far, far away from having a chance at democracy. It's not about the superficial trappings of western democracies. The foundations must be laid to build an actual functioning society, not timelines, funding or other side issues.


User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1966 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 8):
There are some immense differences between Germany and Japan after WW2 and the Iraq.

Agreed ,

Your idea , I think, is that in these countries their was a force who effectively instilled fear in the population to follow the rules. The idea that if you did not respect the new authority a heavy hand would be used .

I submit that what is happening in Iraq is a reversal of this idea, their really is no choice for the people of Iraq. The insurgency may be in the end the catalyst that instills the desire of the Iraqis for a central government (elected) to basically protect them.

The Insurgency has no real future to offer the Iraqis other than civil war and tyranny , and every brutal killing they do reinforces this idea. Hate to say it this way , but the insurgency seems to be a perfect motivating factor for Iraqi's to turn to a new type of government.



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1941 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
Building a democracy absolutely requires a fundamental societal consensus.

We did not have that in the United States. There were many unionists in the colonies before and after the declaration of independence. Many were spies for the English during the revolutionary war. Many propogandized for a return to the Kings rule after our independence had been won.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
it is the problem that there are several powerful groups which have no trust whatsoever that the respective other groups won't kill them if they have the opportunity.

We had that in our country almost all the way up to the second world war. Some would argue it still goes on in our country.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
The foundations must be laid to build an actual functioning society, not timelines, funding or other side issues.

Which is underway in Iraq. They will find their own way and as soon as they have a security force that can stand on its own it will be time for us to start to leave. If we were to pull out in a hurry, as some would have us do, then what foundation that has been laid will collapse.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1930 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 15):
We did not have that in the United States. There were many unionists in the colonies before and after the declaration of independence. Many were spies for the English during the revolutionary war. Many propogandized for a return to the Kings rule after our independence had been won.

What is needed is not a consensus about everything but a consensus about the essential structure of society and the way people are to live together.

The american constitution was an expression of a sufficiently stable consensus in that regard, as fragile as it was at times.

And both Germany and Japan had highly cohesive societies with well-established structures before WWII.

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 15):
Which is underway in Iraq.

I don't see much evidence of that yet. What would be needed would be an actual domestic peace accord between the warring factions. But as far as I'm aware the various militias still rule the streets in effect (some of them posing as official police by day).

As far as the US troops can make a dent in that I think general Petraeus is probably one of the few who may actually succeed, but the problem is not primarily a military one, so it will remain difficult under the best conditions.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8289 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1910 times:

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 6):
The Iran-Iraq War really screwed up Saddam's standing in Washington.

Only because he failed to put down the Iranians and underestimated their resolve despite all the assistance from both us and the Soviets.

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 7):

How about the people of Japan? Did they "want" democracy in 1945? The South Koreans? The South Vietnamese? Just because the political leaders aren't what you hoped they'd be does not mean the people themselves do not want democracy and nothing in that report says so. That's the great thing about a democracy, when the time comes, you can vote someone else in. If the people of Iraq don't show up to vote next time around, then this article holds water.

Japan is still a democracy in name only. Ask any young Japanese person why they don't vote and they'll tell you the elections are a farce, the system was rigged from the beginning, and 50 years of single party dominance fed by the oxymoronic combination of both American intervention and nationalist interests have all but destroyed any hope for grassroots organization. Thankfully the worsening pension crisis will soon bring everything to a head and there may be a chance at real reform...



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineKalakaua From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1516 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

If the Iraqis don't want democracy, then sobeit. That wasn't our main objective in the first place. There's a time for war, and a time for peace. But if we have to deal with this major bs again, after troops are pulled out... It's their call.


Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.
User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Maybe that is why War Party Senator wants to cut and run now?

Quoting Propaganda:


NEW YORK - Sen. John Warner said Thursday President Bush should start bringing home some troops by Christmas to show the Baghdad government that the U.S. commitment in Iraq is not open-ended.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20406241/

 Confused


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8289 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1889 times:

^
No surprise there. Recent intelligence suggests that Al-Maliki is doing more to undermine progress than to promote it.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1884 times:

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 19):
Maybe that is why War Party Senator wants to cut and run now?

"Warner, known for his party loyalty, said he still opposes setting a fixed timetable on the war or forcing the president’s hand.

“Let the president establish the timetable for withdrawal, not the Congress,” he said.
"
Ooops. Gotta read that whole article.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8289 posts, RR: 26
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1880 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 21):
Gotta read that whole article.

Gotta also spend some time abroad getting a handle on what assumed democracy actually looks like up close.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1878 times:

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 21):
Gotta read that whole article.

Of course I've done that. And listened to his comments.

Quoting War Party Senator on MSNBC:
Warner, known for his party loyalty, said he still opposes setting a fixed timetable on the war or forcing the president's hand.



Quoting War Party Senator on NPR:
"...could begin to redeploy and be home to their families no later than Christmas"

No time line but lets get some home by Christmas?

So which is it? Can't have your yellow cake and eat it too!









  

[Edited 2007-08-24 06:12:40]

User currently offlineOldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1857 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 20):
No surprise there. Recent intelligence suggests that Al-Maliki is doing more to undermine progress than to promote it.

You quote American sources. It's more that the US government needs a scapegoat for their failure.

Apropos of democracy: it's very undemocratic to try to get rid of the elected government. Now they need to disassemble Maliki to cover their own ignorance of the situation in Iraq. (before and after the war)
Wasn't there the propaganda that the US brought democracy to Iraq specially proven with this election (of him)?  Big grin

Axel

[Edited 2007-08-24 09:11:15]


Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
25 Post contains links MD11Engineer : Quoting RJdxer (Reply 11): Germanynyes, Japan in name only. There were many people in this country thatnwere skeptical that Japan could be remade into
26 Aaron747 : I didn't really think it was worth going into since most people evidently don't care about the ins and outs of history here, but thanks anyway Jan. Th
27 Post contains links and images OU812 : You're joking right! Those elections were bogus! What planet you on? I got some great swampland for sale, interested? Just another far left lefty sti
28 B707321C : I don't think Iraqis care about Democracy. Other issues are more urgent: Food, shelter, heathcare, security & Safety. It's a little premature to wish
29 RJdxer : Two things, how long was Japan an active democracy between say 1845 and 1945? Secondly, who said the war ends now, and it did? The simple fact is tha
30 RFields5421 : Two essential elements are missing from the situation in Iraq today for a working democratic representational form of government to be established -
31 Falcon84 : I heartily disagree. We kept it in Europe after WWII. Overall, we do keep our promises. In my mind, this wasn't a "promise" in Iraq. It was forced ch
32 MD11Engineer : Definitely longer than Germany with it's 15 years of Weimar Republic (don't forget that the first 2 and last 4 years were practically a civil war sit
33 UPSMD11 : The US doesn't want democracy to stick because the central banks would stop making money off of the war along with the defense contractors and other p
34 Tom12 : On the radio this morning there was a report that one of the US Senators thinks the best way to get a democracy to them is the pull out troops in smal
35 Flighty : We should just let Iraq have a dictator. A charming older fellow. We need to give him some room to enforce his rule for the good of Iraq. Sure, it's n
36 Post contains images Baroque : I think it seems to be: 002 4355 46 2 4263 2278 Don't forget to ask for advice.
37 Post contains images Baroque : If that was overly cryptic 01 seems to be the code to get to most of the rest of the world. So I assumed heaven might be 001, whereat the other place
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