Iraq: the British endgame

mophead

Lantern Swinger
#41
waste of my time and effort? I strongly disagree.The Iraqi people have had the first diplomatic elections in over 30 years.I know I have done my bit to help these peoples as have thousands of over servicemen/women that have actually served there.Once again its easy to comment on the istuation in Iraq from the comfort of an armchair in ''blighty''.The press raely show any coverage of all the good work service personnel have done over the last 4 years.Hopefully we can withdrawl from Iraq soon leaving behind a secure diplomatic government .

As I said you did your bit made things a little better for a few people,but the statement about leaving behind a secure diplomatic government is perhaps a little nieve.The Arabs function in their own way,according to their beliefs and traditions,we go in and try to get them to accept a thing called democracy(which they have never experienced) and when we leave it will revert to business as usual.We cannot judge or expect them to behave to our rules.It was a mistake going there in the first place,and not worth the effort everyone has put in,nor the deaths ...on both sides...it has caused.
And I agree entirely about the poor press coverage of the good bits you have achieved.
 
#42
Mophead,
A few good points,Yes the arabs do function there own way,the Tribal system out there is very promanant.My only point to add is most of the Arabs in Iraq want a fair system, thats why they have had elections.Its not just the western way to have a democratic government. If after we have helped set up THERE government we withdrawl.Its entirely up to them.The majority of Iraqis I have come into contact with want democracy,they want to live like Kuwaities.Just sometimes they press only focus on the Burka wearing, west hating minority.I can assure you there are more Man utd and Liverpool FC shirts in Basra than there is in the North west.
 
#43
Deeps, make sure you keep your head down. Don't worry about the oes wearing Man U and Liverpool shirts, be careful of the Chelsea boot boys (bagdhad section).
 
#44
To change direction slightly, back in the 70's on Oil Tankers, we the British crews, used to consider that the 'Shatt al Arab' was the backside of the world, and Basra was ten miles up it! It's changed then???

In other words (whilst I would thank you and all the other servicemen who have risked life and limb in Iraq to bring about a better life for the inhabitants) with different cultures and religions the writters above have a good point - is it worth it? What are we trying to change? and should we? Remember the "Star Trek" Prime Directive - don't interfere in others developements - what right have we to tell them how to live - and in the same vein what right have they to tell us?

Leave them alone and (hopefully) they will leave us alone to get on with our respective lives! The only time we should be kicking butt is when they don't; same as they are doing now!
 
#45
SW Yes the Shatt is the backside of all things Arabian.Was it all worth it? To be honest I really dont know.Hindsite is a wonderful thing .However its happened, we are involved ,so we stay until the job is done.
 
#46
I think to suggest that the Arabs or any other group are pathalogocally incapable of understanding, or operating democratically is patently not true. Certainly Islam does not preclude democracy and the two largest Islamic states are democratic. Equally many aspects of the tribal culture depend on agreed concensus which is in fact more democratic than the government forms we use.

Clearly Iraq has spent many years under a military dictatorship and the establishment of a stable democratic system will take time, especially as long as there are attempts to gain political power through non democratic means continuing. Similarly the presence of foreign troops also causes rightly or wrongly some of the violence as non democratic forces use their presence either to cover or justify their actions. Did you see the chap in Basra last night who said it was good the UK was starting to pull out because the UK troops wer responsible for all the killing and kidnapping. Clearly deluded but equally reality in his mind.

Certainly there is hope for Iraq, but I do question the continuance of what was effectively an artificial colonial creation as a nation state, an in this attempt clearly some of the problems lie and will always lie.
 
#47
Are there any truly democratic Islamic countries?

I ask because I cannot think of one Islamic country which is governed by a truly democratic government.
 
#49
wet_blobby said:
slim said:
Are there any truly democratic Islamic countries?

I ask because I cannot think of one Islamic country which is governed by a truly democratic government.
Turkey??? thats the best I can think off.
Turkey a democratic country?
They are experiencing difficulties joining the EEC because of their policies. I don't think that Turkey is a true democracy.
 
#51
I would think that Malaysia is probably the closest to a democratic Muslim state. Though I don't think thaere are many Arabs in the government.
 
#52
slim said:
wet_blobby said:
slim said:
Are there any truly democratic Islamic countries?

I ask because I cannot think of one Islamic country which is governed by a truly democratic government.
Turkey??? thats the best I can think off.
Turkey a democratic country?
They are experiencing difficulties joining the EEC because of their policies. I don't think that Turkey is a true democracy.
Turkey has a government elected through universal suffrage, ithas an established legal system which operates within it's constitution. They get criticised for some of their actions in dealing with an armed insurgency, I seem to remember the UK getting similar criticism, they get criticised for some laws passed by their elected government, this has equally happened in the UK.

Equally most of the above would apply to Indonesia, which is in fact the largest Muslim state in the world.

Personally I would put the level of democracy in Malaysia below that of both Turkey and Indonesia.
 

wet_blobby

War Hero
Moderator
#54
"are there any truly democratic Islamic Countries"

Thats actually a pretty good question Slim, If someone had the time or inclination to look into it my money would be on the fact that the closer to Mecca you got the less democratic they would become.
 
#55
Maxi_77 said:
slim said:
wet_blobby said:
slim said:
Are there any truly democratic Islamic countries?

I ask because I cannot think of one Islamic country which is governed by a truly democratic government.
Turkey??? thats the best I can think off.
Turkey a democratic country?
They are experiencing difficulties joining the EEC because of their policies. I don't think that Turkey is a true democracy.
Turkey has a government elected through universal suffrage, ithas an established legal system which operates within it's constitution. They get criticised for some of their actions in dealing with an armed insurgency, I seem to remember the UK getting similar criticism, they get criticised for some laws passed by their elected government, this has equally happened in the UK.

Equally most of the above would apply to Indonesia, which is in fact the largest Muslim state in the world.

Personally I would put the level of democracy in Malaysia below that of both Turkey and Indonesia.
You are probably right Peter. However what I was really looking for was an Arabic Muslim state. Though earlier you stated that any group should be capable of operating a democracy I was wondering if any Arabic state had actually achieved this.
Is it right for us to be forcing them into a democracy that they possibly do not want.
 
#56
F169 said:
slim said:
F169 said:
slim said:
I would rather 10,000 Iraqi's died than one more British soldier
A sickening statement. :cry:
Is it sickening ? Iraqi's are killing Iraqi's, the British soldier is piggy in the middle. He is there to keep the peace not to be a target for groups who are settling old scores. This is being carried out in the name of Islam.
My statement stands.
You are right Slim, 'sickening' is an inadequate adjective for the view you expressed, please substitute 'evil'.
I absolutely agree. This is a truly evil statement. This was an illegal invasion of a country that posed no possible threat to our nation or to our nation's interests. The entire 'war' has been predicated on evidence fabricated by a clique within the government of the USA [in actual fact a clique within a clique]. The British government led by the blessed Saint Tony was well aware that the justification to invade was false and still chose to commit British troops. Contrary to Slim's statement the troops were never there to keep the peace; they were an essential element of illegal act of war. This is where our troops have ended up as 'piggy in the middle'.

The best estimates of Iaqi dead hover around the 650,000 figure. Coalition of the unwilling casualties are around 3,500. A rough ratio of 200:1. Maybe this figure isn't high enough for Slim but I would be very interested what proportion of innocent women, children and babies he would include to raise the ratio in his favour?

RM
 
#57
OK Bergen
I believe that the loss of one British soldier is one too many. But its time for you to realise that at present it is Muslims carrying out the killings on fellow Muslims. How many of these 650,000 deaths are attributable to the direct action of the military? How many Iraqi's were slaughtered by fellow countrymen before this so called illegal war took place?
When the civil war begins as it surely will due to the nature of the people this 650,000 will be a drop in the ocean.
 
#58
slim said:
You are probably right Peter. However what I was really looking for was an Arabic Muslim state. Though earlier you stated that any group should be capable of operating a democracy I was wondering if any Arabic state had actually achieved this.
Is it right for us to be forcing them into a democracy that they possibly do not want.
In response tothe new question, how about Morocco, Algeria,and Egypt. Not such good examples I warrant, but all progressing down a path towards more what we would consider democracy. All have multi party parliamentary elections although much power still reides with the head of state, but they are moving in the democratic direction. Lebanon would probably also be in that list if outsiders didn't meddle quite so much, and Tunisia and Libya may well also follow down the democratic path as present leaders die off, there certainly are signs they are preparing the way.

Getting closer to the possibly more tribaly and traditionaly minded Arabs of the Gulf region Yemen is generally considered to be reasonably democratic, although perhaps some way to go to reach European standards they are seen to be making progress.

On this basis it may be suggested that perhaps the Arab is not wholly incabable of democracy, though not as yet a good practitioner
 
#59
Having worked in both morocco and Egypt I agree that they are progressing nicely, however they still have a long way to go.
If we look back at our own countries history it is clearly seen that it has taken us many hundreds of years to get where we are now. To my mind it will be many years before the concept of democracy in the middle east becomes a reality. I don't believe that it is something that we can force on them. It is also my belief that we would not be worried about this if these countries did not own oil reserves.
As for Libya, I worked there a couple of years ago and power still resides with one man.
 
#60
slim said:
Having worked in both morocco and Egypt I agree that they are progressing nicely, however they still have a long way to go.
If we look back at our own countries history it is clearly seen that it has taken us many hundreds of years to get where we are now. To my mind it will be many years before the concept of democracy in the middle east becomes a reality. I don't believe that it is something that we can force on them. It is also my belief that we would not be worried about this if these countries did not own oil reserves.
As for Libya, I worked there a couple of years ago and power still resides with one man.
Well it has only come to be widely accepted in Europe in the last 50 years, and that makes the Middle East seem to ,oving at light speed compared to some countries far nearer home. .

Where a strong autocracy plans for an orderly transition into democracy it can work quite well, look at Spain after Franco, on the other hand unplanned transfer can take a bit more, keeping in Iberia look at Portugal, but they made it.

In general I would sugget that positive and material support to governments going down that path is generaly worth it's weight in gold, calling them raghead savages incapable of change on the other hand is probably self fullfilling.
 

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