Follow The Money

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I logged on the 'Net just now; Yahoo came up as the Home Page. (I'm too lazy to worry about something else...) I browsed their news headlines, and there's an article about the fighting in Fallujah.

    I'm reading along, with my usual sort of, "Uh-huh, yeah, okay..." style and then came upon this:

    "Fallujah was a key bastion of support for Saddam Hussein's rule and the loss of vast subsidies it enjoyed under Saddam turned it into a hotbed of resistance, said Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    "Such areas had never had any clear economic reason for their privileges and promised to be the permanent losers" in a change in regime, it said."

    Maybe I'm too wired into "Utilitarianism". I generally don't take a course of action unless I think it will improve my little chunk of world and my place in it.

    So your country is occupied by a vastly superior military force. How do you improve things for you and your family by openly shooting at that army? How does that make the money come back? Seems to me there's not a lot of thought process much beyond that of the Cargo Cult of New Guinea!

    'Rat
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    So you're saying the only proper course of action is to acquiesce peacefully? Would YOU do that?
     
  3. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #3
    'Rat, the trouble with this way of seeing the situation is that it smacks of the patronising "if only these people thought and behaved more like us (civilised) folks" attitude.

    I don't think any of us are fully aware of the complexities of the political, social, cultural and religious forces at play in Iraq. The difference between you and me is that I don't pretend to know what is "good" for Iraqis, and I certainly don't support the enforcement of "good" by military means.
     
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #4
    Yes, you are too wired into "utilitarianism."

    It's not a good idea to see the world exclusively through any system of thought--especially patently unrealistic ones.
     
  5. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    toontra, I don't claim to be fully knowlegeable about all the complexities, but I'm fully aware that they exist. I'm certainly aware of some of the differences between other mores within other cultures; I've lived in or travelled extensively in some twenty countries.

    With that as background, skunk, I gotta say that while I wouldn't necessarily be cooperative with some invader, I'd not readily or immediately put my family at risk by openly warring with a superior force. Further, since our message has always been that when an Iraqi government is in place, we're gonna quit occupying.

    Now, everything ever written about Saddam's Iraq said the Baathist Party was of the Sunnis, a minority in Iraq. This says to me that the Shiites should have no objection to Saddam's overthrow, and apparently there is much less unrest in those areas.

    Now, not all Sunnis were "on the inside" of the Baathist party. To say, then, that Fallujah is representative of the attitudes of all Iraqis falls prey to a lack of understanding of the complexities there. :)

    And damned if we don't come back to a common and ancient motive for human actions, common to societies all over the world: Cherchez the $$$. It's all about money and power: "You licked the red off my candy, and I'll kill you for it!"

    'Rat
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    So are you saying they're too stupid to figure out what's in their best interest, or are you saying they just don't care about their families?

    And seriously 'Rat, when you were 20 would you have sat by and watched your father, your mother, your cousins, your neighbors humiliated by an occupying army and done nothing?

    You have to remember, there is a fundamental lack of trust among the Iraqis about our intentions. This comes from having been lied to before, remember? So now add that to the equation. Now you've seen your family humiliated by a soldier who may or may not be acting strictly in accordance with Geneva protocols, rules of engagement etc, and you have competeing messages coming at you. One from those who've done the humiliating and have lied to your people in the past, and one from those who you've lived around and with your whole life saying 'Bad Americans'. And remember, we're not talking about people like you as combatants, we're talking about you when you were 20 or 30. Can you not begin to understand the mindset that picks up a gun and uses it against an American?
     
  7. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    'Rat, when I saw this thread you created, I thought you had posted this story:

    Iraq Cellular Project Leads to U.S. Inquiry
    A Pentagon official acted to award a contract to a group that included his friends.

    WASHINGTON — A senior Defense Department official is under investigation by the Pentagon inspector general for allegations that he attempted to alter a contract proposal in Iraq to benefit a mobile phone consortium that includes friends and colleagues, according to documents obtained by The Times and sources with direct knowledge of the process.

    John A. Shaw, 64, the deputy undersecretary for international technology security, sought to transform a relatively minor police and fire communications proposal into a contract allowing the creation of an Iraq-wide commercial cellular network that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year, the sources said.

    Shaw brought pressure on officials at the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad to change the contract language and grant the consortium a noncompetitive bid, according to the sources.

    The consortium, under the guidance of a firm owned by Alaskan natives, consisted of an Irish telecommunications entrepreneur, former officials in the first Bush administration and such leading telecommunications companies as Lucent and Qualcomm, according to sources and consortium members.

    Shaw's efforts resulted in a dispute at the Coalition Provisional Authority that has delayed the contract, depriving U.S. military officials and Iraqi police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers and border guards of a joint communications system.

    That has angered top U.S. officials and members of the U.S.-led authority governing Iraq, who say the deaths of many Americans and Iraqis might have been prevented with better communications . . .

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationw...9apr29,1,3312797.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    The relevance of this story is this: you can not be a successful "occupier" when the populace believe you are occupying their country for financial gain -- be that oil or contracts.
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    It might also explain why they can't seem to get it through their 'thick heads' that we're there to help them....
     
  9. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #9
    C'mon, 'Rat. You know, I know and, more importantly, the Iraqis know that the US will have military bases in Iraq for a LONG time hence, and that they will never allow an anti-US government to control the country, whether democratically elected or not.

    In other words your "just hang on for a few months and you can do what you want" sentiment is as meaningless as it is disingenuous. You are talking about a subjugated and humiliated population who see no end in sight and who are dying at the hands of the occupying forces as we type.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    Nicely put :)
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    i wonder how many times one iraqi has said to another -- the US still has bases in japan and germany.
     
  12. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #12
    if they thought that iraq in 50 ys would be like germany and japan today, I think many more would embrace us. Unfortunately I don't think the parallelism holds here.
     
  13. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #13
    You know, I feel the US has less to do with this than you might think...if you look at Iraqi history, they have been ruled by outsiders for most of their history...Mongols in the 13th to 17th century, then the Persians for 20 years, then the Turks for nearly 300, then the British after WWI. Add to this the conflicting nationalism of the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish populations exarcerbated by money and technical know-how that Britain poured in and was briefly maintained by the Hashemite kingdom after independence. This was all buried under the stultifying rule of the Baathist regime, but now it is seeping up again...I think in many ways, Iraqis are used to fighting - invaders - or each other, and having their country reduced to rubble each time...I am very dubious of the prospects in Iraq for democracy in such an unstable environment, and for the US to expect the Iraqis to lay down their weapons feels equally naive...I do not think that we have a grasp on the Iraqi mindset...
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    Basically, in other words, somebody didn't do their homework.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    or teacher doesn't like being told he's wrong...
     
  16. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    mac, just how much broadspread "humiliation" do think there has been? I can accept that there have been isolated instances. We're as likely to have some dumbutts in our military as anybody else is. I don't believe there has been any sort of policy of humiliation. I really doubt there has been enough to incite the Fallujah style of reaction.

    As far as my own behavior if I had a real mad on, I'd seek a job in the Bad Guys' kitchen and put ricin in the gravy.

    I've said before that I can understand a Pentagonian desire that we have bases in Iraq. That's not necessarily the same as "occupation". We have not occupied Germany in any sense of control for quite a long time, but we still have bases there.

    'Rat
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    Wearing sunglasses is an insult apparently to them. House to house searches are humiliating if you have no connection to The Bad Guys. Having to explain yourself to an arrogant 19 yo with a gun is humiliating to an older person. Humiliation happens on a much broader scale than what goes on in Abu Ghraib. I'm not saying it's right or wrong to conduct house to house searches or anything, but it does have an effect on the Iraqi people.

    IOW, you would take up some form of arms against the occupiers?

    Problem is, there's no trust that those are our intentions. Right now we are an occupying force.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    Kimmit himself admits there has been more of this: this is the only publicised instance because of the remarkable stupidity of these people letting themselves be photographed. Maybe they don't think there's anything wrong with their behaviour. They certainly don't look ashamed in the photos. And whose reaction are you talking about in Fallujah? The Iraqis
    who ambushed a car full of unregulated hired guns, or the US military who turned their heavy armour on a city of 300,000 in retaliation?

    It's not up to the US. It's not their country. It's not their business. And it's certainly not sanctioned by anyone with any legitimacy.
     
  19. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    "It's not up to the US. It's not their country. It's not their business. And it's certainly not sanctioned by anyone with any legitimacy." That's your view, skunk, and you're not at all alone in it.

    Trouble is, it's an opinion with no historical justification; history sez the opposite. No sanction is needed by those with the power. The USSR was not a sanctioned empire, but nobody had the power to change it.

    Realpolitik can be ugly. Aboout all I see that I can do about it when I'm in disagreement with the rationale behind it is at the polls every four years. So far, through numerous presidential elections and tenures, I've not seen things improving in all this realpolitik.

    Some folks call me cynical; I prefer "observant". However, when the cry of "BOHICA! seems unending, it's rather difficult not become cynical.

    :), 'Rat
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    I thought the "new world order" was about improving things, not maintaining the status quo.

    Sorry, you'll have to explain that acronym... :)
     
  21. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    I thought it was BS the first time I heard it. "Human nature" is hardwired into our genes, IMO.

    'Rat
     
  22. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    BOHICA: "Bend over; here it comes again."

    'Rat
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    I'm keeping my back to the wall.
     

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