Lessons from Bosnia

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Ugg, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #1
    Link

    Now Iraq and the Bosnia aren't quite the same situations but I think the experience there does indicate what Iraq will be like a few years from now. Multiple parties each going their own way, billions of dollars invested, mainly by the US, yet stability will be mostly a pipedream. I think that holds true whether we turn Iraq over to the Iraqis now or maintain the current status for another year or more. This of course seriously endangers gw & co.'s plans for Iraqi oil and for stability in the middle east.

    Nonetheless, at some point every country needs to choose its own path, fight its own battles and come up with what works for them. Will the US ever be able to keep Iraq from splitting into 3 parts? With the Kurds teaming up with their turkish brothers and the Sunnis and Shia and Iran and SA all getting involved.

    How long before Iraq is a stable country again? 3 years, five or fifty? And at what point does the US need to let the Iraqis make their own decisions, even the wrong and potentially painful ones?
     
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    At least in Bosnia, it is fundamentaly now a European problem. In Iraq it is a pipedream to believe that the nations of the region will support our efforts there. If the UN takes political control that situation could shift for the better.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Clinton was in Bosnia a few days ago, and was greeted like a hero. I wonder if Dubya will be able to go to Iraq in 5 years or so and get the same kind of reception. We'll see.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    The USSR "sat on" the Balkans, supporting its satraps such as Tito. Any efforts at inter-ethnic or inter-religious violence would have been met with greater violence. So, from 1945 through 1990, you had people who grew up with no concept of representative government. No notions of friendly or unfriendly political squabbling, without violence, as we have here.

    And then the USSR dissolved...

    I won't say Iraq is any exact replica, but there are similarities. What might well be a cause of difficulty in achieving political stability is the common acceptance of the ties between government and Islam.

    It seems to me that the Iraqis would be better off with some stable form of some sort of representative government, even if it bears little resemblance to our own. It might well serve, then, as a positive example for neighboring countries. Certainly, the dictators and royal families haven't created any sort of socio-economic structure that brings to their societies any sort of large middle class equivalency.

    Doesn't matter what anyone thinks of Bush, or who's gonna be the next President. The problem will remain...

    'Rat
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Well of course they'd be better off -- but the question for the moment is whether the control freaks in the White House will permit the Iraqis to form a stable, representative government which is unfriendly to US interests, which of course is entirely possible if the situation is allowed to evolve naturally. Also, keep an eye on the discussions with the UN and our western European (former) allies about their future role in Iraqi reconstruction for evidence of the Bush administration's determination to do far more in Iraq then send them toddling off on their way toward self-determination.
     
  6. Ugg thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    I think the religious extremists are ultimately more responsible for the status quo in the middle east than are the dictators and ruling families. They brought down the Shah in Iran, effectively control the royal Saud family, and are surging in popularity in what was a nominally secular Pakistani state.

    Does militant and extremist Islam need to run its course as did extremist Christianity in the West, is there any possible way to speed up the process? I truly doubt that there is any way to leapfrog the problem. If that is the case then the next few decades are going to be really messy and it will be a no win situation for the US if we insist on holding power.

    Yep, Bush created the mess and now it will be up to successive administrations to solve the problem and successive generations who will pay the bill.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Which is what many of us were arguing pre-war, and were oft-derided by others as being overly pessimistic.

    Yes we as a nation have now broken it, so we have bought it. No leaving Iraq until it's fixed now. Help or no help from allies. (Old Europe must ring hollow in the WH now) No matter what the cost, it must be completed.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Have any of you read any of Dr. Lewis' books? I've only read the first, and found it explanatory. (I thought I'd brought it with me to re-read, but goofed.) They're at Amazon.com.

    He's a professor emeritus at Princeton, having specialized in middle east studies.

    1. What Went Wrong? : The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East -- by Bernard Lewis (Author); Paperback
    Buy new: $10.36 -- from: $7.62
    2. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror -- by Bernard Lewis; Hardcover
    Buy new: $13.97 -- from: $7.96
    3. The Middle East -- by Bernard Lewis (Author); Paperback
    Buy new: $11.20 -- Used & new from: $6.33

    Curious as to others' opinions.

    'Rat
     
  9. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    'Rat, this view leaves out the very real break Tito had with the Soviet leadership in the late '40s. He was no satrap of the Soviet Union. He had his own problems with democracy and respect for human rights, but he wasn't a puppet. Unfortunately, when he died and the Yugoslav state did not have a leader that could control the nationalist tensions, they exploded with a vengence.

    Sorry, can't help you with Lewis' books.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    I agree that Tito was no Ceaucescu, and with the examples of such things as the "Prague Spring" he wasn't going to overtly squabble with the Kremlin. Regardless, the whole of the Balkans was controlled by the USSR. Sort of a "If you don't take care of it, we will." deal.

    'Rat
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Anyone who thought Iraq would be all fixed up and ready to go before Bush left office was smoking crack. You can't build a nation in a year or two. How long were the Allied occupations of Japan and Germany after WWII? About 10 years right? You can't just drop a new government on a nation and expect it to work right out of the gate. IMO, for something like this to work the occupying forces should build the frame work of government, educate the locals and then let them flesh it out while slowly handing over the reigns. Unfortunetly I don't think today's political climate would allow the US (or any occupying force) short term dictitoral control over Iraq even though it would be in the long term best interests of the nation. I mean, MacArthur ruled Japan during the occupation and the US basically wrote the Japanesse constitution. And, looking at Japan today, I think they are doing pretty well for themselsves (Germany ain't too shabby either). Now is what worked in post WWII Japan and Germany going to directly apply to Iraq? No, but I think if you take the fundamentals of what was done in Japan and Germany and apply them in Iraq today it would be a step in the right direction.

    But like I said, I don't think the global community of today would allow that to happen.

    I apologize if this argruement has already been brought up, but I haven't kept up w/the threads for a month or 5. ;)


    Lethal
     
  12. Ugg thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    You're absolutely right, and I think few of us on either side of the fence here at MR believed it. The point is that gw & co. did.

    Get the oil pumping, allow the world to invest a $100 billion, making sure that the US and UK got the lion's share of the profits, build a few US bases, write a constitution, get the slimeball Chalabi (sp) to head up the interim govt. and voila, instant new democratic Islamic nation. Although my tone is sarcastic, it is really what they presented to us. So, we know that gw experimented with drugs, should we add crack to that list as well?
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13

    You forgot the "just add water" part in the instructions. ;)


    Lethal
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    'Rat, I think you miss my point. There were no Red Army troops in Yugoslavia. Tito conducted an independant foreign policy for decades that the Soviets hated. He also tried many market reforms that the Soviets thought violated communist dogma. He ruled with an iron fist, but that fist was his own. The disaster that Yugoslavia has become can be laid directly at the failure of Tito to deal with the nationalist resentments that smouldered under his rule. Might just have something to do with the lack of any freedom of speech on these issues during those decades, but it had nothing to do with the folks in Moscow.
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Sayhey, I don't think I'm missing your point so much as I'm looking at some other factors. Sure, Tito operated more independently than other leaders of Iron Curtain countries. And, yeah, he was often crosswise with the Kremlin. Overall, he was close enough to the policies of the USSR to keep them from taking him out.

    But the Red Army didn't have to physically be there, for it to represent a serious threat. I'm just saying if Tito hadn't maintained control, the USSR would have taken over and done it.

    I forget the year of the end of the Islamic invasion efforts toward Europe; 1342 or some such? Anyhow, the squabbles among the various Slavic groups, plus the effects of converts to Islam, have left that area a heckuva mess.

    Odd-funny or ironic how in the Balkans the U.S. has specifically been protecting Moslems from Christians, and getting little or no recognition for the effort...

    Wuz it the Limelighters or the Kingston Trio who sang, "They're rioting in Africa..."? After, "The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Dutch," I always liked the line, "And I don't like anybody, very much."

    'Rat
     

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