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Author Topic:   Iraq needed Saddam?
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3948 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 16 of 52 (387044)
02-25-2007 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by cavediver
02-25-2007 11:13 AM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
Does this not rather admit that "those people" are incapable of governing themselves, full-stop, and need separating?

On the contrary, I would suggest that "those people" were fully capable of governing themselves quite effectively. However, not as a unified polity. If the goal is a "united Iraq", which is a bit bizarre since the nation of "Iraq" writ large is a colonial invention, then I would say there's probably no way it can occur - at least from without. And I highly doubt the various factions/groups currently engaged in a bloody civil war are going to do it on their own hook. On the other hand, if the goal is regional stability (relatively speaking), then partition appears the only pragmatic answer.

I'm certainly in favour of your suggestion, though I watch Turkey with interest...

Actually, I watch Turkey with trepidation. That was no joke about them going to war to prevent the creation of a Kurdish nation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by cavediver, posted 02-25-2007 11:13 AM cavediver has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Chiroptera, posted 02-25-2007 6:06 PM Quetzal has responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 17 of 52 (387045)
02-25-2007 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by cavediver
02-25-2007 11:13 AM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
cavediver writes:

Does this not rather admit that "those people" are incapable of governing themselves, full-stop, and need separating?

Haven't most national democracies been born in the context of considerable homogeneity?

What "those people" most certainly didn't need was being lumped together and arbitrarily labeled a nation by colonial powers. I certainly don't believe any particular people are more suited than another for democracy and/or self-governance.

Modern democracies might well have evolved in the Middle East if the region had not been sliced, diced and Frankensteined by the West.

Having aborted the emergence of modern nation-states in that region (and others, e.g., Africa), we can now congratulate ourselves on our relative lack of fratricidal factionalism.

Perhaps a system of three largely autonomous states under a U.N. mandate would eventually lead to a more integrated republic. I think the only other option is bloody chaos.


Real things always push back.
-William James

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by cavediver, posted 02-25-2007 11:13 AM cavediver has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Chiroptera, posted 02-25-2007 6:29 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 18 of 52 (387046)
02-25-2007 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by cavediver
02-25-2007 11:13 AM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
cavediver writes:

Does this not rather admit that "those people" are incapable of governing themselves, full-stop, and need separating?

Haven't most national democracies been born in the context of considerable homogeneity?

What "those people" most certainly didn't need was being lumped together and arbitrarily labeled a nation by colonial powers. I certainly don't believe any particular people are more suited than another for democracy and/or self-governance.

Modern democracies might well have evolved in the Middle East if the region had not been sliced, diced and Frankensteined by the West.

Having aborted the emergence of modern nation-states in that region (and others, e.g., Africa), we can now congratulate ourselves on our relative lack of fratricidal factionalism.

Perhaps a system of three largely autonomous states under a U.N. mandate would eventually lead to a more integrated republic. I think the only other option is bloody chaos.


Real things always push back.
-William James

Save lives! Click here!
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC!
---------------------------------------


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by cavediver, posted 02-25-2007 11:13 AM cavediver has not yet responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 19 of 52 (387047)
02-25-2007 5:36 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by cavediver
02-25-2007 11:13 AM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
cavediver writes:

Does this not rather admit that "those people" are incapable of governing themselves, full-stop, and need separating?

Haven't most national democracies been born in the context of considerable homogeneity?

What "those people" most certainly didn't need was being lumped together and arbitrarily labeled a nation by colonial powers. I certainly don't believe any particular people are more suited than another for democracy and/or self-governance.

Modern democracies might well have evolved in the Middle East if the region had not been sliced, diced and Frankensteined by the West.

Having aborted the emergence of modern nation-states in that region (and others, e.g., Africa), we can now congratulate ourselves on our relative lack of fratricidal factionalism.

Perhaps a system of three largely autonomous states under a U.N. mandate would eventually lead to a more integrated republic. I think the only other option is bloody chaos.


Real things always push back.
-William James

Save lives! Click here!
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC!
---------------------------------------


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by cavediver, posted 02-25-2007 11:13 AM cavediver has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by kuresu, posted 02-26-2007 9:34 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 20 of 52 (387048)
02-25-2007 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by berberry
02-25-2007 11:21 AM


Re: Artificial Nation
berberry writes:

W.W.E.D.?

E.W.L.T.B.

:D


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by berberry, posted 02-25-2007 11:21 AM berberry has not yet responded

    
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 21 of 52 (387053)
02-25-2007 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Quetzal
02-25-2007 5:28 PM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
quote:
If the goal is a "united Iraq", which is a bit bizarre since the nation of "Iraq" writ large is a colonial invention, then I would say there's probably no way it can occur - at least from without. And I highly doubt the various factions/groups currently engaged in a bloody civil war are going to do it on their own hook.

As was the United States, which only truly became a unified nation after its own bloody civil war.

-

quote:
On the other hand, if the goal is regional stability (relatively speaking), then partition appears the only pragmatic answer.

Partition is always a good idea, as Ireland, India, and Israel have shown.

-

quote:
That was no joke about them going to war to prevent the creation of a Kurdish nation.

Not to mention Iran also contains a part of the Kurdish "homeland" and so has its own interests regarding an independent Kurdish state. So much for the idea of partition creating stability.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Quetzal, posted 02-25-2007 5:28 PM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Quetzal, posted 02-26-2007 9:22 AM Chiroptera has responded

  
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 22 of 52 (387055)
02-25-2007 6:29 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Omnivorous
02-25-2007 5:30 PM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
quote:
Modern democracies might well have evolved in the Middle East if the region had not been sliced, diced and Frankensteined by the West.

Perhaps. However, most regions of the world contain highly inhomogenous populations. If homogeneity is a requirement for stability, then most nations would end up too small and noncompact to be viable. Don't forget that homogeneity in Western Europe was as much of a product of the nationalization process of the 18th and 19th centuries as was the democratization movements.

The examples of homogenous autocracies and of non-homogenous democracies suggests to me, personally, that this correlation between democracy and homogeneity is more an artifact of the idiosyncracies of European history than an inevitable part of human nature.

I do agree that a lot of the problems of the third world do stem as a legacy of colonialism, and the old "divide and conquer" tactics of exacerbating (or even creating) tribal rivalries is a part of the problem. But another major problem is that democracy in the developing world (and the result that the resources of each developing nation would be used to benefit the people of that nation, not the Western economies) runs counter to the interests of the West. As a result, either stability is deliberately thwarted by Western policies, or it is the inadvertant result of political and economic policies forced onto the developing nations.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Omnivorous, posted 02-25-2007 5:30 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Omnivorous, posted 02-25-2007 8:24 PM Chiroptera has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 23 of 52 (387066)
02-25-2007 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by CK
02-25-2007 2:44 PM


Re: Mission Drift and Reality
There is no chance at all that the UN would take over - not a chance.

One has to wonder what American forces could accomplish that UN forces could not. Especially as they would not be encumbered with the problem of being one of the aggressors in the conflict.

That raises the question of why American forces should stay. Some talk about our responsibility for destabilizing the country, but there is a point where we cannot be held responsible for the continued inter-sectarian war(s).

The reality imh(ysa)o is that the conflict could not be worse with the departure of American forces and may even be better - one less target.

What I see here is "Descent into a Maelstrom" and continued participation is pure folly.

Of course I also think there should be prosecution of those that instigated this war.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by CK, posted 02-25-2007 2:44 PM CK has not yet responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 24 of 52 (387068)
02-25-2007 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Chiroptera
02-25-2007 6:29 PM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
Chiroptera writes:

The examples of homogenous autocracies and of non-homogenous democracies suggests to me, personally, that this correlation between democracy and homogeneity is more an artifact of the idiosyncracies of European history than an inevitable part of human nature.

What examples? Are you offering Western Europe as an example of a "highly inhomogenous" region? You've offered no other example, and I don't find W. Europe a persuasive one.

But another major problem is that democracy in the developing world (and the result that the resources of each developing nation would be used to benefit the people of that nation, not the Western economies) runs counter to the interests of the West. As a result, either stability is deliberately thwarted by Western policies, or it is the inadvertant result of political and economic policies forced onto the developing nations.

I agree.


Real things always push back.
-William James

Save lives! Click here!
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC!
---------------------------------------


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Chiroptera, posted 02-25-2007 6:29 PM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Chiroptera, posted 02-25-2007 8:50 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 25 of 52 (387074)
02-25-2007 8:50 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Omnivorous
02-25-2007 8:24 PM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
quote:
What examples?

Um, India?


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Omnivorous, posted 02-25-2007 8:24 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Omnivorous, posted 02-25-2007 10:29 PM Chiroptera has responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1043 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 26 of 52 (387080)
02-25-2007 10:29 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Chiroptera
02-25-2007 8:50 PM


80% is pretty homogenous
Um, India?

Well, India is certainly an example of a post-colonial democratic nation, but it could not emerge as a cohesive state until the Muslim majority areas were spun off as Pakistan, leaving a Hindu majority of 80%. Even now, that subcontinent's Muslim-Hindu friction makes it an A-lister for the first thermonuclear exchange.

At any rate, I don't want to sidetrack the topic. While I believe strong elements of homogeneity--ethnic, religious, racial--favor the emergence of democracy by encouraging mutualistic tendencies and discouraging xenophobic ones, I wouldn't argue that they are essential.

As you have already pointed out, the damage done by colonial empires and their modern economic and military hegemonies have made stable progress difficult in large parts of the world. I do consider the cobbling together of ersatz nations from often inimical ethnic, tribal, and religious populations just one of those difficulties.


Real things always push back.
-William James

Save lives! Click here!
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC!
---------------------------------------


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Chiroptera, posted 02-25-2007 8:50 PM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Chiroptera, posted 02-26-2007 9:24 AM Omnivorous has responded

    
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1673 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 27 of 52 (387084)
02-25-2007 11:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by sidelined
02-25-2007 8:52 AM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
Your response here, though emphasizing the horror perpetrated by men in power throughout history, nonetheless fails to answer the question " does Iraq need a "bad" (but not "very bad") person in order to function?"

Of course it fails to answer the question. As I said, the question cannot be discussed on its own terms until those terms are clarified. What is 'bad'? What is 'very bad'? What is 'function'? The questions I asked in response were not rhetorical.

I offered specific examples of 'bad persons' who have led countries. Which are 'bad' enough to serve as a model without being so 'very bad' as Saddam Hussein was? Which comes closest to the hypothetical 'bad but not very bad' leader whose potential usefulness we are being asked to consider?

What is meant by having this society 'function'? Is a society 'functional' if the leaders never change and no civil wars erupt, even as innocent people live in constant fear of those in authority? Or does freedom from authoritarian abuse itself represent a criterion for understanding 'function'?

____


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by sidelined, posted 02-25-2007 8:52 AM sidelined has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3948 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 28 of 52 (387098)
02-26-2007 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Chiroptera
02-25-2007 6:06 PM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
Partition is always a good idea, as Ireland, India, and Israel have shown.

No, I understand that partition is not "always a good idea", as your examples amply demonstrate. However, the one attempt at creating a post-colonial, multi-ethnic/multi-religious state that we have is Lebanon, which has been a basket case since the '70's. It's entirely possible that Iraq's only real chance is partition. It still may not work, but the alternatives (continuous factional fighting, civil war, and/or quasi-permanent foreign occupation) appear much worse. Do you have another idea? If so, I'd like to hear it.

Not to mention Iran also contains a part of the Kurdish "homeland" and so has its own interests regarding an independent Kurdish state. So much for the idea of partition creating stability.

Indeed. On the other hand, I don't see many alternatives. Certainly the idea of imposing "democracy" from without doesn't appear to be working. As a political cartoon from 1983 during the US "peacekeeping" mission in Lebanon has it: "At least we're keeping them from shooting at each other."

As was the United States, which only truly became a unified nation after its own bloody civil war.

I would argue (but probably off-topic for this thread), that the situations are not remotely analogous outside the bare fact of a civil war.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Chiroptera, posted 02-25-2007 6:06 PM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Chiroptera, posted 02-26-2007 9:32 AM Quetzal has responded

  
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 29 of 52 (387099)
02-26-2007 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Omnivorous
02-25-2007 10:29 PM


Re: 80% is pretty homogenous
quote:
leaving a Hindu majority of 80%.

Which is pretty irrelevant. When those people talk about homogeneity being a prerequisite for democracy they are usually talking about ethnicity, not just religion. Maybe you are an exception, but this underscores one of the main points against the democracy = homogeneity argument: the criteria for "sufficiently homogenous" are pretty flexible, variable, and clearly any example I can come up with of a non-homogenous democracy will end up being "homogenous" after all.

-

quote:
Even now, that subcontinent's Muslim-Hindu friction makes it an A-lister for the first thermonuclear exchange.

The friction being between two nations that were formed in order to ensure "homogeneity". Not that this has anything to do with whether India or Pakistan, both pretty inhomogenous nations, are democracies.

-

quote:
At any rate, I don't want to sidetrack the topic.

Well, the topic is what does Iraq "need", and one "need" that is on the table is that some non-Iraqis think that Iraq "needs" to be divided into several smaller "homogenous" units. Maybe that would be a good idea, maybe a bad idea; but I think that whether it is good or bad should be determined by more practical matters than some folk wisdom that homogeneity is a prerequisite for democracy.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Omnivorous, posted 02-25-2007 10:29 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Omnivorous, posted 02-26-2007 2:57 PM Chiroptera has responded

  
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 30 of 52 (387100)
02-26-2007 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Quetzal
02-26-2007 9:22 AM


Re: Bad, but not Very Bad
quote:
Do you have another idea? If so, I'd like to hear it.

I guess my point is that maybe we aren't the ones that should be coming up with the ideas. This should be something determined by the Iraqis themselves. I could be wrong, but I am under the impression that both Sunnis and Shiites oppose even a federated nation; the Kurds being the only ones that might support that idea. I could be wrong about this; if the Iraqis themselves are in favor of federation or partition, then by all means it is a viable idea that should be considered.

I just doubt that imposing a solution that is opposed by the majority of people that would be affected by it is a recipe for peace or stability.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Quetzal, posted 02-26-2007 9:22 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Quetzal, posted 02-26-2007 9:40 AM Chiroptera has responded

  
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