Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by PartTimePongo, May 1, 2007.
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OP-ed piece from the BBC's Andrew North in Baghdad.
How many more lives must be lost before the US and British governments realise the futility of trying to impose democracy in Iraq?
Pull out the troops and let the civil war which is already happenning reach its conclusion.
It is not so much the futulity of trying to impose democracy which may well happen there in due course, but the adject failure of particularlythe Americans to have any sensible plan at the outset on how to control this vast country after they had defeated SH.
That sounds brutal and callous taken at face value Slim, but I find I agree.
I forgot who said "All great nations are born of civil war" but I find more and more, I'm starting to take that view.
If we are prepared to absorb refugees, while they fight themselves to a bloody standstill , then maybe that is what it will take to resolve it.
My sympathy meter is sitting on empty. Primairily because of the patent inability, and indeed the total lack of willingness and blatant sectairianism of the Iraqi Government.
We and the Americans are trying to instil some sort of order, whilst the very entity we are trying to protect , is actively in some quarters working against us.
Maxi , I don't think we can blame the American Commanders on the ground. We can however blame the comedy of tragic errors made by Politicians with at best described 'disturbing' agendas, and indeed the Clown-in-chief Bremer.
But how can it be resolved now , short of changing the Iraqi Government and devolving rule along a Tribal basis, as per that gentleman we just hung?
Dividing a country along sectarian/tribal lines does not work. It has been tried in the past, look at the India/Pakistan dispute and nearer to home the green line in Cyprus.
No I don't mean devolve rule to the level of autonomous 'homelands'
I mean give the Tribal leaders a bigger say.
Something has to happen , we're wasting effort if no matter what we do, we're frustrated by those we are there to protect and encourage. Their actions seem to be running directly contradictory to what they say they are trying to achieve.
The latest 'drives' by the Iraqi Government in the 'surge', are starting to look suspiciously like ethnic cleansing.
We know where that ends up.
Democracy is an ideal that we in the West have learnt to enjoy.
It is not the natural way and imposing it on others is doomed to failure. We should protect our democracy with our lives, but not waste them on trying to protect a version of democracy that would not exist, were we not there.
At the risk of bring boring, if there was no oil, we wouldn't be there at all!
My sentiments entirely.
Lets look after and protect our own democracy. There are already many infiltrators who would like to see UK Ltd controlled with Sharia law.
I think the concept that democracy is a new fangled western idea is misplaced, many tribal systems in reality were and in some cases still are more democratic than our societies. Tribal systems depend on concensus and trust, things significantly missing in our politics. Quite clearly the US strategy for post SH Iraq has failed what ever the rightness of the invasion was, and there is a serious need to mve on. I can only see two reasons for maintaining the present unitary state of Iraq, one maintaining the staus quo justifies the suppression of significant ethnic minorities in other states, and secondly from the Iraqi point of view the leader of Iraq holds higher status if it is the whole of Iraq rather than the Sunni bit, or the Shia bit, or the Kurdish bit.
Have to agree here. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." We can't expect a 14th century culture to be good Americans (or British) by letting them vote then telling them "Congratulations! You are now free citizens of a new democracy!" What is the answer? You'll have to ask someone smarter than me. But I'm smart enough to see that the current policy isn't accomplishing a thing except killing good soldiers, yours & ours. It may offend some who read this but I'm fed up with "The Religion of Peace". Their subjugation of women. Their use of children & civilians as shields to carry out terrorist attacks. What a pathetic excuse for a religion. I've almost come to believe that an American radio commentator was right when shortly after 9/11 she said:
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.
I really have to shake my head when I see so many replies that constantly reference the failure of the Iraqi people to accept the democracy that noble Britain is selflessly offering them.
This was never, ever, ever about democracy. Not even in your wildest fantasies did we commit to an illegal invasion because we wanted to see Iraqis with purple index fingers. The excuse of being harbingers of democracy was simply the final rationale after it had been proved that Saddam had no WMD [surprise surprise] and no links to terrorists.
British kids are dying for the lies of British politicians. Pure and simple.
The fact that Bliar was led by the nose by Shrub and the insane policies of the USA is another story.
It was all Sadaams faultâ€¦ switched from the Dollar to the Euro
And don't forget that today is the 4th anniversary of Bubble Boy landing on the USS Abraham Lieancon and declaring Mission Accomplished :roll:
To be fair, and this being Iraq perhaps why should we, I don't think there are really many who would accuse the Iraqi people of not accepting democracy, in fact I suspect that many perhaps evem most would like democracy in some form. The reality though is there are many people who see the opportunity for power without the inconvenience of the ballot box. There are the Al Quaida mob who would like a replacement for Afghanistan and have always shown a wholehearted disregard for any ones life, then there are the remains of the Bathists who know all about how to cow the civil population and want their chance to salt away lots of cash in Switzerland, then there are the clerics who would like to emulate their Iranian counterparts and have al the power without the need to get their own hands dirty. Historically the Americans are incapable of dealing with such people and now they have shown that they have lost the plot it is best they get out as son as posible.
I think there is little point at present debating the legality of the war, rather we should concentrate on extracting the foreign troops as best we can without to much more killing, not that easy if one remebers Vietnam.
and I shake my head with despair that phrases like 'illegal invasion' are used as if to suggest that international law actually means something. When it comes to nations exercising foreign policy it is, and I daresay always will be, 'might is right'. International law with regard to foreign policy applies only to those who are weak and losers. I doubt Messrs Bush and Blair will ever see the dock in the Hague........
In the midst of all the blood and snot and carnage someone has managed to do a very thorough, very professional and very up to date assessment of Iraq oil-reserves. The reserves are far greater than anyone had admitted to and Iraq has probably the biggest untapped oil reserves in the world.
Probably no coincidence that one of the benchmarks that the USA has set for Iraqi 'democracy' is the passing of laws to give western oil-companies unfettered access to those reserves at bargain basement prices.
Wouldn't dream of saying that it was (or is), although I'm not sure that I'd agree that any tribal system is democratic. Tribal chiefs generally become chiefs through the subjugation of others, which doesn't really fit with the democratic ideal. But nobody died for New Labour to triumph - our chief was democratically elected by a trusting - if terminally stupid - electorate.
Even where physical strength was an important part of being chief the winner did not normally have to subjugate the tribe, rather defeat other contenders for the position, and often even with strong man chiefs descisions were more by consensus than might is right. Remeber that tribal systems are based on family and whilst families are run by the head of the family there is normaly consensus on the important choices. The concept of abslute power has far more to do with king/god systems of government than tribal ones. This is precisely why in countries with tribal traditions often descisions take an age as they have to persuade most if not all to agree rather than just simple majority voting. Conesensus descision making can be very powerful as it does result in all being committed to make it work where as in simple majority systems there is always a sizeable minority with w vested interest in failure.
Having read all the post I wholeheartedly concur with Bergenâ€™s evaluation IMO he has hit the nail squarely on the head.
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