Falcon84
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U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:02 pm

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.
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allstarflyer
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:38 pm

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.

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AirframeAS
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:44 pm

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.
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seb146
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:51 pm

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.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:58 pm

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.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:13 pm

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
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gunsontheroof
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Ir

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:26 pm

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.
 
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:36 pm

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]
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MD11Engineer
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Ir

Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:11 pm

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
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Mir
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:13 pm

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.

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Charles79
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:17 pm

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.

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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:20 pm

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.
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:35 pm

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.
 
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:00 am

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.
 
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:12 am

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.
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:28 am

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.
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Ir

Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:45 am

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.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:49 am

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...
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kalakaua
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Ir

Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:14 am

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.
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FlyingTexan
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:33 am

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/

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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:19 pm

^
No surprise there. Recent intelligence suggests that Al-Maliki is doing more to undermine progress than to promote it.
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:39 pm

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.
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Aaron747
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:51 pm

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.
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FlyingTexan
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:05 pm

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]
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Ir

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:04 pm

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]
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MD11Engineer
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Ir

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:48 pm

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 11):
Germanynyes, Japan in name only. There were many people in this country thatnwere skeptical that Japan could be remade into a democracy, if for nonother reason than the fact the emperor was revered as a God.
Quick history lesson:
Forncenturies, while the emperor was considered to be a direct descendantnof the sun goddess, he was also practically powerless. Up to the Meijinrestoration during the mid 19th century, the emperor and his familynwere practically imprisoned in the imperial palace in Kyoto, while anShogun, a military dictator, actually the most powerful of the Damyos (provincial rulers of the Samurai class) ruled the country. The population was always told that the emperor had to keep separate to mind spiritual matters.
EmperornMeiji seized the opportunity after the Americans forced the country tonopen and toppled the last of the Tokugawa dynasty Shoguns, who keptntheir country deliberately isolated and backwards to stay in power.
Therenwas even a short, but nasty civil war between the supporters of the oldnSamurai privileges and the modernised (with European and Americannassistance) Imperial Army, the Satsuma Rebellion.
Emperor Meiji also introduced the Japanese parliamentary system per decree.
Japanese imperialism started after the successful first Sino-Japanesenwar in the 1890s (where there are still arguments about the cause. Backnthen Korea was practically a Chinese province. China was extremelynbackward back then, and there existed a movement in Korea, wanting to separatenit from China and to modernise it after Japan's example, who, in thenbeginning, actually greeted the Japanese troops. The medieval ChinesenArmy got defeated and suddenly mood in Japan changed. Back then all bignpowers had colonies. Suddenly the Japanese demanded colonies as wellnand made Korea one, to the opposition of those Koreans, who supportednthem in first place, a bit like the Filipino independence movementnafter the Spanish-American war) and especially after the victory in thenRusso-Japanese war of 1904 (the first time a non-white, non-Europeanncountry has beaten a white superpower). This started, among the formernSamurai class (which got it's privileges heavily curtailed after thenfailed Satsuma rebellion. Many rich Samurai families moved into bignbusiness and the military, especially the Army) a movement to build anJapanese sphere of influence in East Asia.
Nevertheless, after thenintroduction of the parliamentary system, the emperor Meiji and hisnsuccessor withdrew from politics. Up to the late 1920s, Japan was annactive democracy of the constitutional monarchy style, like the UK.
Butnfollowing WW1, where Japan belonged to the Allies and felt badlyntreated by the established powers in the Versailles treaty (who treatednit as a second class country), the 1920 economic crisis, which hitnJapan particularly hard and the racist based ban on immigration ofnJapanese to the US (before an important safety valve for thisnoverpopulated country with limited resources, a ultra-nationalistnmovement came to power, lead mostly by the old samurai elites. During ancampaign of political assassination run by the military and Yakuzanmafia against opposition politicians, changes of law (e.g. suddenly thenminister of defense had to be an active military officer, also thennumber of active military officers in parliament and governmentnbecame bigger and bigger), the introduction of a secret "though police"nagainst supporters of the opposition, in the early 1930s Japan hasnpractically become a military dictatorship in the name of the emperorn(just like under the Shogun 100 years before). This dictatorship wasnsupported by big business, which's owners came from the same ex-samurai class. The occupation of Manchuria and Northern China came especially on their demands to give them easy access to raw materials.
I'm still not sure how much influence the young emperor Hirohito had over the military junta ruled by General Tojo.
Incan imagine though that first, he was not really interested in politicsn(he was a passable maritime biologist, doing research in a lab in thenpalace grounds), secondly, his "divine" status was deliberately used tonisolate him from the population, just like the emperors before Meiji,nlike even today, his life was strictly regulated by the civil servantsnof the imperial palace bureaucracy who see themselves as keepers of thentraditions (still happens today) and his age and lack of willingness tonstand up to Tojo. I see him as a young man, slightly scarred of Tojo, who rubber stamped everything brought in front of him, also his sources of information severelynrestricted and, maybe in the beginning even supporting the military,nwho would show him one success after the other, without telling himnabout details, like atrocities (maybe he also just didn't want to know).

Jan

Edit for spelling

[Edited 2007-08-24 10:20:53]
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Aaron747
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:55 pm

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. That's a generally good run-through of relevant events.
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OU812
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RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:13 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):
Voting does not a democracy make. Saddam's Iraq was proof enough of that - he was "elected" over and over again by stunning margins.

You're joking right!

Those elections were bogus! What planet you on? I got some great swampland for sale, interested?

 hypnotized 

Just another far left lefty sticking up for our enemies & completely ignoring facts! blockhead 


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2331951.stm

Saddam Hussein - who has ruled Iraq since 1979 - was the only candidate.

You can't have free elections when the electorate goes to the polls in the knowledge that they have only one candidate, that candidate routinely murders and tortures opponents of the regime and the penalty for slandering that sole candidate is to have one's tongue cut out."
 
B707321C
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:42 pm

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:41 pm

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 1):
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.

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 for Democracy yet. Without the basic human needs Democracy would not work in the US or other places either.
 
RJdxer
Posts: 3523
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:14 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:53 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
I see him as a young man, slightly scarred of Tojo,

Two things, how long was Japan an active democracy between say 1845 and 1945? Secondly, who said the war ends now, and it did?

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 26):
I didn't really think it was worth going into since most people evidently don't care about the ins and outs of history he

The simple fact is that Japan, prior to 1945, was more of a military dictatorship/monarchy, than it ever was a democracy. I could have gone into a lot more detail but I think most everyone realizes that.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever. I'm going to Texas!
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5645
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:27 pm

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?

Two essential elements are missing from the situation in Iraq today for a working democratic representational form of government to be established - no there is not one in Iraq today.

First the people have to believe in the principles of democracy and representative government - as an inclusive country. This takes GENERATIONS to instill in a country, in a people. It can start if a people believe in a nation. I see nothing in statements from people in Iraq that they believe in the nation of Iraq. They believe in their religious group, their ethinic groups, their political group. I don't see statements or discussion where they talk about all the people - Shia, Sunni, Kurds - as equal Iraqi citizens.

Secondly, a democratic form of government must have the support of the opposition to survive. If you live in a democracy and you are on the winning side of more than 70% of the political arguments - something is wrong. Deep down in our bones we understand that the Democrats will probably replace the Republicans in the White House next year. Even the most radical activist Republicans understand that having that opposition voice is an essential check and balance.

But the people of 'new democracies' don't have this understanding or belief. Their view is that now their party is in power and a 'tyranny of the majority' is their right. They don't understand compromise and that the ENTIRE population is their responsibility.

No debates on the way the US works please - suffice to say we learn and understand how it should work as children. The people running Iraq - for now and the new 50 years - do not have that knowledge or belief that such a system will work.

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 15):
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.

I never had a doubt about our military's ability to win the shooting war. Even with my son in 3rd Infantry with a mission to capture the Baghdad Airport - which they performed almost flawlessly.

I always had no faith in our country's ability to secure the nation after the victory and to transform the country and teach democracy to the people of Iraq.

First we had too few people. We needed about 500,000 in uniform to do that - but after the Regan, Bush, Clinton and Bush force level cuts (which largely follow Donald Rumsfeld's 1973 outline from the Nixon Pentagon) - we don't have that many people capable of being deployed in the US military today. (All Presidents and both political parties have agreed with the Rumsfeld vision of a military of about 200,000 ground combat troops, 400,000 contract support civilians, and Navy ships crewed 35% by military and 65% by civilian non-combatants - don't try to blame any single president/ party).

Second, we suck at teaching people about democracy. It's so ingrained in our very nature, our very concept of how to live that we don't understand as a nation or as individuals how to start with the first steps and build that belief and trust in a democratic representative form of government.

Our government is so concerned with the national government - but as we all know "All politics is local". The source of the belief in democracy has to start at the local level - and there we are supporting war lords, religious zealots, gangsters and such - all in attempt to ensure 'security'.

The people have to believe and see democracy in action in their local government before the national government has a chance to survive.

I'm sorry, but after the mess the US made by not bringing the UN in to run the post victory rebuilding of the country - Iraq's ony future after we leave is as a fundamentalist religious dictatorship. We've taken a certifiable nut of a dictator (Saddam) and turned the nation over to be a clone of Iran / Afghanistan.

As far as withdrawal - it will happen - with the final pullout being in 2011.

The people of the US have no stomach for living up to their promises. The saying "When the going gets tough, the Americans go home" is quite true based on our history over the past century and a half.

Yes, the people of the US - each and everyone of you who calls yourself a US citizen - have their personal individual honor on the line in Iraq.

You live in a representative democratic country - and part of that is the leaders are your leaders - right, wrong or indifferent. They make commitments for you to fulfill. That's how it works - and you don't have the right to pick and choose which policies you 'support'. The time to do that is the ballot box - and if your side loses - that's how it works.

I was never for this war, never thought the risks were worth the potential reward. Firmly convinced that invading Iraq would take the US focus away from the real war on terrorism in Afghanistan/ Pakistan.

But my elected leaders, most of whom I never voted for, legally made the decisions and committed our country to the course of action. And in 2004, the Democratic Party screwed up again and nominated an unelectable candidate - ensuring the reelection of President Bush.

They seem well on their way to doing so again.

Most people forget that Richard Nixon ran in 1968 on a platform and a promise to get the United States troops out of Vietnam. They also want to forget that he did a danged good job of living up to that campaign promise.

When he took office there were over 650,000 US troops in Vietnam - with almost 300,000 in primary ground combat roles. With ships and support and air combat groups in Thailand, Philippines and Guam - there were almost 1.25 million US military committed to the war in Vietnam.

Nixon's first unilateral withdrawals began in the summer of 1969. I remember it clearly because my cousin Josh was a B/N in USMC F-4's at Chu Lai. And his squadron was one of the first to be pulled out.

By the time I got to Danang in August 1972, there were just a little over 110,000 US troops in Vietnam. There were no US units in primary ground combat. The actual number of 'advisors' in primary ground combat roles isn't known but was certainly less than 10,000.

Now Nixon had a problem - he has pulled out over a half-million troops with no concessions or agreement from the other side in the battle.

After the massive US/ RVN victory in Tet in 1968, the VC had ceased to exist as an effective force. But the North Vietnamese insisted that the Viet Cong be an equal part in withdrawal and cease fire talks.

Nixon also had a few hundred POWs that the people of the US would not allow him to abandon.

Only when he relented from frustration and began to run the war as it should have been run in 1963 under Kennedy did he force the North Vietnamese to seriously talk about the practicality of a final withdrawal.

Nixon's promises, his problems and how the other parties and his own country hamstringed his efforts to withdraw are a lesson we need to learn and understand today.

Pulling out of Iraq will be a lengthy, bloody process. There will be major battles as opposing forces fight to take the strong points now occupied by US troops, and fight against the US to prevent our troops from taking their arms and munitions with them.

The really sad thing is that all the politicians know a withdrawal will take at least two years.

The Democrats are scared to death that the President might say "Fine, you set a timetable, we'll follow it. Any problems are your fault."

The Republicans are scared to death that in August of 2008 they cannot announce the beginning of a withdrawal and start pulling out a few units with a lot of publicity.

The current "debate" is a farce - both sides despirately want the status quo to continue through the 2008 elections.

The 'debate' has nothing to do with getting the troops home, ensuring Iraq has a representative government.

It is all and only about winning the 2008 presidential election.
 
Falcon84
Topic Author
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:07 am

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 30):
The people of the US have no stomach for living up to their promises.

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 change of government started by one man and his administration, against the will of the people of Iraq. No matter how much they may have hated Saddam, and with good reason, no one likes to be told what to do.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 30):
The saying "When the going gets tough, the Americans go home" is quite true based on our history over the past century and a half.

Say again? The Civil War? World War I? World War II? Korea? Seems to me when the going got tough in those, we toughted it out, and won the day. Even in Vietnam, we just didn't run. We fought there for 12 years. So I think you're over-exaggerating somewhat in that assessment.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 30):
Yes, the people of the US - each and everyone of you who calls yourself a US citizen - have their personal individual honor on the line in Iraq.

Wrong. I was against the war from the outset; am still against the fact we went there. The only person who's real honor was on the line with this was President Bush, and his advisors.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 29):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
I see him as a young man, slightly scarred of Tojo,

Two things, how long was Japan an active democracy between say 1845 and 1945? Secondly, who said the war ends now, and it did?

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 situation in Germany).

About Japan, it was democratically ruled from about the 1870s to the late 1920s.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
upsmd11
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:18 am

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 people who profit from war.

America needs to wake up to what's really going on here and get smart!

Cheers,
John
 
Tom12
Posts: 1050
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:29 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:39 am

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 small numbers, leaving the country slowly but surely fend for itself. I think that this would be quite an effective way of going about it.

Tom
"Per noctem volamus" - Royal Air Force Bomber Squadron IX
 
Flighty
Posts: 7719
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:23 am

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 not ideal but it is the lesser evil.


Who's got Saddam Hussein's number?


Is it now when we admit the real enemy here is the actions of the USA in 2003?
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:58 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Who's got Saddam Hussein's number?

I think it seems to be:

002 4355 46 2 4263 2278

Don't forget to ask for advice.  Smile
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: U.S. Not Convinced "Democracy" Will Take In Iraq

Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:47 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 36):
Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Who's got Saddam Hussein's number?

I think it seems to be:

002 4355 46 2 4263 2278

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 might be 002. The rest of the number reads (according to my mobile) "Hell in a hand cart"

Or maybe I got the number mixed up with that for the Iraq government.  Wow!

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