Is a strong democratic Iraq in American interests?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Zaid, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Zaid macrumors 6502

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    #1
    It's a thought which's occured to me recently.

    Would a strong democratic Iraq be in American interests?

    Given the unpopularity of America in Iraq, it's hardly a stretch to assume that a truely democraticly elected government in Iraq would not be particularly pro American.

    As an example if a democraticly elected Iraqi government decided in a few years time to cancel American contracts issued during the occupation and by the current provisional 'government', or even completely nationalise their oil industry, what would US reaction be? Bearing in mind that a smilar act in Iran* prompted the US to overthrow a democraticly elected government and put the shah in power.

    What if a democratic Iraq started developing close links with Iran and Syria and developed a regional anti-US-influence alliance.

    Any thoughts?






    *the nationalisation of the Iranian oil industry so that the money from Iranian oil would be fully utilised in building the lives of Iranians, what a crazy idea!
     
  2. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #2
    Well, we're the ones who put Saddam into power in the first place. Look how well that turned out. However, with the right leadership it might turn out better for us in the long run.
     
  3. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thats precisely the point. In a true democracy the US can't ensure that the 'right' leadership (from its viewpoint of course) emerges. A leadership that revokes US contracts and sets up an international bid process so that Iraqis get the best deal may be the 'right' leadership for Iraqis but not for US interests.

    Conversly the 'right' leadership from an American viewpoint, Sadam in the 80's say, could be a very wrong leadership for Iraqis

    What exactly do you mean by the 'right' leadership? Do the interets of Iraq and the US neccessarily coincide? I'm not saying that can't be the case, just that it need not be. What will the US do if it isn't?

    the US has proven in the past that it is more than willing to overthrow democraticly elected goverments that it has problems with. Why should the future be any different.

    Oops did i say overthow, of course i meant to say 'help the people cast of their oppressors who were going to do awful things', like help poor people.
     
  4. Macs R Us macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Zaid, I was wondering if you could fly a plane, I knew a Ziad from London that goes all over in a small plane, is that you?... If so let me know as I have some qustions about avionics...
     
  5. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Nope, haven't got a clue :) Different person i'm afraid. Zaid, and its variants are very popular Arabic names.

    For a second there i thought you were going to accuse me of being something, till i read the next line of your post. :)

    Reread this bit in isolation :)

     
  6. Macs R Us macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Ah, yes I see... Sorry about that, I did not know it was a comman name... Sorry about that... I lost a freainds e-mail add and I have been looking all over for him... He like Macs too and since I only heard that name twice (you and him) I had surmised that you were him, sorry...
     
  7. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #7
    I am not sure how you mean...Saddam came into power through a series of coups: first the overthrow of King Feisal II by Col. Kassem in 1958, then a Baathist coup that replaced Kassem with Aref (and a 26 yr-old Hussein) in 1963, then another coup with Al-Bakr replacing Aref in 1968 (with Hussein as Internal Security Chief). Hussein later became VP under Bakr and finally deposed him in 1979.

    While this does coincide with the Iranian revolution next door, I am not sure America had anything to do w/ his ascension to power, although they were happy to provide him with weapons to fight the newly fundamentalist Iran.

    Do you know something I don't? Let me know...
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    the bush administration wants for iraq the same kind of free and fair elections it wants in the US.

    yes, i mean that very cynically.
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    It's my feeling (and I haven't got much evidence to back this up) that the Bush administration was more interested in establishing a government in Iraq that would be friendly to US interests than in a real democracy. IOW, if a friendly Iraqi strongman had emerged from this process I think they'd have been secretly if not publicly delighted. Now, of course, anything short of outright civil war would be called a success, but that's just a measure of how far from the mark this arrow has landed.
     
  10. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #10
    Hmm... I was thinking he was looking to go for the same free and fair elections we backed in Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Panama and South Vietnam. I find it no accident that the team who brought you the dissapeared now bring you a kindler, gentler Iraqi Despot.
     
  11. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Not to mention Chile, Indonesia, Grenada, Guatamala, Honduras, Angola, Iran, Bolivia, El Salvador, Cambodia(pre Khemer Rouge), Laos, Zaïre amongst others.
     
  12. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #12
    Not to mention the indirect (or direct) cause of unfriendly totalitarian regimes in North Korea, Iran, Syria, etc.

    Why use diplomacy when inherently illegal black ops and anti-(your boogey-man here) based, ambiguous non-war wars can **** it up just fine?
     
  13. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Indeed.

    The question is, will we see a democratic Iraq rise from the ashes? or despite American promises, which aren't worth the bad breath they were uttered with, will Iraq turn into a pseudo democacy with a 'president for life' -type situation, or even worse another oppressive dictatorship. Obviously nobody can say for sure, but what are the chances of a real democracy developing?
     
  14. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Not to be overly harsh or inflammatory, but I heard a comment the other day which might apply here:

    "how can we think a culture that keeps half it's people in beekeeper suits is ready for democracy?"

    Now obviously, that comment is largely rhetorical, and I am not trying to imply some sort of cultural elitism. What I am saying is that of the predominately Muslim countries in the world, only Turkey has a reasonably-functioning Democracy and they acheived this by secularization first. Indonesia looked possible for a while...Bosnia may yet become one...

    There are some Cultural incompatabilities with Democracy in many Muslim countries (and non-muslim also), dealing with equality between the sexes, education, literacy and functioning infrastructure and economy. The high birth-rates also compound things. These things need to be addressed if you want Democracy to be more than just "elections".

    This also raises the question of whether Democracy is the best form of Government for the Iraqis, or for anyone...
     
  15. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #15
    Based on what little the international press can report on due to the extreme danger of being in Iraq right now I'd say we're likely to see another Iran in less than 5 years.
     
  16. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #16
    I would tend to agree, and I am not sure that is such a bad thing, considering...

    OT, but you know Iran has to be loving all this mess. Their biggest ME competitor taken out and left in shambles, porous borders and a receptive populace to their ideology/plans, a US overdrawn,distracted and discredited in the region, allowing them more free-reign than usual...

    I have always liked Iran. They are generally not the crazies you hear about...they are an ancient, refined culture which somewhat softens the harder edges of Islam, and they are competent. They have one of the best Intelligence services in the Region (other than, or perhaps because of, Israel). They spend a lot of time,effort and money on Islamic causes/aid, even if some of that ends up in radical hands. They have smartly used their somewhat limited power and influence to it's maximum effect in the ME and the caucasus.

    At any rate, Iran is far from the fundamentalist hotbed it was in the late 70's into the 80's...they have mellowed and would, under the circumstances be a good influence on their neighbor.
     
  17. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I don't really think that there are any incompatibilities between Islam and democracy. Iran is another country, which while it may be a theocracy, has many democratic institutions, regular elections with a voter turnout that that would shame most western democracies. And shia Islam is the more likely of the two to have issues with democracy.

    Personally i think it has a lot more to do with general levels of literacy and education within the society. In that regard i don't think that Iraqi society is incompatible with democracy. It is by and large a sophisticated, literate and well educated society. It has had a brief and relatively successful experience with a constitutional monarchy (read democracy with a king as a figurehead) from the early 40's till the early 60's.

    Given a proper chance, democracy could take root and work in Iraq.
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    Perhaps I should have elaborated more.

    We didn't actually put him into power, but we helped get his party there, and supported him before he later became our enemy. I don't want to give a history lesson, but we (and many other countries, as well) indirectly put him into power and directly kept him there.

    There is no right leadership. I guess I was trying to be facetious. No matter who we try to put in there, and whoever they elect, it could go either way. It's sad really, but it's the same thing here in the US. Or any country, for that matter. You cannot predict how things will go.

    They could be our best friend, or our worst enemy. Whether we do things right or not, could sway it in the deciding direction. I am trying to be optimistic, but I'm a realist, and there isn't really a definitive right or wrong here. We just have to try.
     
  19. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    From the LA Times

    Major Assaults on Hold till after the election

    I guess that this gives us an indication of how important democracy in Iraq is to the current administration.
     

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