war on iraq..

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by dasant, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    What is a true democracy?

    JJM writes:

    I beg to disagree with your assertion that the U.S. is not a true democracy though a republic.

    Maybe you have a point there about what a true democracy should be, which the U.S. is not. May I respectfully then learn from you what a true democracy is?

    I will not be bothered so much that the democracy the U.S. will bring to Iraq will be to its own image, with all the boils and calluses of U.S. style democracy, under its tutelage and patronage and of course for its own advantage, which just the same I think is the best option of extant possible but less than optimal choices.

    But I must commend you for your concern about the lot of the Iraqi peoples who have to undergo a myriad traumas to get them into the modern secular world of today's democracy as practiced in the U.S. and in the Western world.

    I wonder if you can give me a list of the countries today that do not have the label "Republic" in their official designation. My suspicion is that every country today calls itself a republic, to indicate that true to the original ideal of a republic in the days of the ancient Romans to mean that government is a matter of everyone's concern and entitlement, not of a limited group.

    Correct me then if I am wrong: what to the Romans was called a republic, to the Greeks was called a democracy.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,906
    Likes Received:
    5
    From my research, I opine that a true democracy is the concept of one person, one vote, majority rules. Each person is his/her own representitive. This, I think works well in a small town or village, of similar minded people. I don't think it would do well in a nation such as the United States with all its diverseness, and with 187 million eligible voters.

    In theory at least a republic based on democratic principles is a complicated form of government, requiring a very learned citizenry who must remain involved and vigilant about who they elect as their representatives. To lose sight and interest in the governemental bodies (elected officials' actions and beliefs), is to give up the right to mold their own government policies, and to in fact give the elected representatives "carte blanche" to do as they please. This is why citizen participation and observation is paramount to maintaining a clean governing body.

    Canada used to be called a dominion/commonwealth, as well as Australia and New Zealand. I do not believe they call themselves republics at this time. Several states in the US still call themselves commonwealths, though Texas is a republic. Great Britian does not call itself a republic, nor does Iceland, Greenland, Finnland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel. (I could be wrong, and may have missed something, but as far as I've found I am correct).

    The Greeks had a democracy the relied heavily on the vote of its citizens. Wherein the Romans did not, and instead relied on regional representatives to cover the interests of their respective regions within the senate. The Ceasar was not elected for the majority of Rome's existence, and was considered a decendent of the Gods.

    That covers the executive and legislative branches of the US based form of governement.

    The British judicial concept of common law, rounds out the origins of the US Judicial branch.

    The uniqueness of the American form of government (in theory) is in the three branches of government acting as checks and balances on each other. Any two can override a third, if a problem arises. And if the people are dissatisfied with the government as a whole, they have the right to liquidate and start again. That is a truly democratic concept.

    Californians expressed this right in the recall of the Governor named G. Davis a few months ago. In fact the established body of representativs of the government of California were stunned and dismayed that their power base could be wiped out by the simple vote of the people, proving that the people are the strongest political entity in existence, when it comes down to brass tacks.

    Our representatives are not rulers...they are public servants of the highest order. If they fail in their service, the people they represent, they can be called home.

    With power comes responsibilty and accountability, failure to live up to those expectations can and does compel the people to step in and exercise their right to choose...

    It is an exciting time to be alive folks!
     
  3. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Despite the fact that there are a wide number of very correct things in Quahom1's message, I have to object to the comparison in the following paragraph.

    Without in any way meaning to diminish the value of the military action of the coalition forces, I think that this is really comaring apples with pears.

    1. The USSR did actually defeat the Afghan regime and replace it with one that was just a puppet. The fact is that the Afghan population continued to fight the USSR by ambush and guerilla, much like what is currently happening in Iraq, only with more intensity because the soviet forces were quite widely viewed as an invading force (which is not the case of the coalition forces).

    2. The purpose of Iran was not to defeat the Iraq regime. Actually Iraq attacked Iran first. Iran was at that time a country recovering from revolution and wrecked by internal turmoil, and Iraq was then recognized as having one of the strongest armed forces in the Middle-East. The purpose of Iran in its war with Iraq was to keep the Iraqis out.

    3. The coalition did both, and did it quite well. However, the situation in Afghanistan was quite different: the Taliban regime was never fully in control of the whole Afghan territory, an dthere was an organized armed opposition that the coalition could rely on. Also, the Taliban regime had lost popular support with Afghans, and the population was certainly more willing to accept coalitions forces than soviet invaders. Also, the situation in Iraq was very different. The Iraqi armed forces had been depleted during the war with Iran, and even more so during the first Gulf War. Iraq had been subject to economic sanctions for more than ten years. Opposing it was not an (at the time) unstable and internationally shunned regime such as Iran, but a coalition led by the strongest and most modern state and military in the world.

    Again, I do not mean to demean the military actions of the coalition, but there is really not much comparison that can meaningfully be done between the events mentioned above.

    Baud
     
  4. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Democracy is very difficult to define. Political scientists and philosophers have been trying to do this for years. It is usually acknowledged that the word refers to two things: the current representative political regimes (in this case, this includes the US), and the philosophical ideal of representation or government by the people.

    A republic is a form of government (usually referred to as presidential regime), like is a representative monarchy (a lits of which Quahom1 included in his post - but he forgot Belgium ! ;) ), or a dictatorship (authoritarian/totalitarian regime). Some of them are democratic, some others obviously not.

    In effect, what you are saying is that a republic is not meeting the philosophical concept of democracy. This is correct in so far as this concept could be clearly defined. The "one person, one vote" concept is actually fairly recent. It entered the US legal system in 1964 only (Reynolds v. Sims). Contrary to popular belief, it was not really applied in the Greek cities, where democracy usually meant "one citizen, one vote". Women, slaves and other non-citizens did not vote. To be a citizen, one very often had to own sufficient property, which of course excluded the poor from representation.

    Baud
     
  5. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very informative and well expounded...

    Bravo, bravo, bravo!

    Thanks, Quah and Baud.

    Before your learning and insights I feel most abashed and lost.

    Thanks.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,906
    Likes Received:
    5
    Touche Baud. You are correct that Iran did not instigate the 8 year war, but they sure as hell tried to finish it (I would have too). I did forget Belgium, and Luxembourg (now that I think about it), as well as the Vatican and Malta.

    Susma, we're just burning out brain cells on a weekend, but the sentiment is appreciated.

    Democracy (in the United States), is an intermittent thing. In my own home, it can be a democracy one day and a dictatorship/heiarchy the next...

    My neighborhood runs more or less on democratic concensus, as well as my local town, but the county runs on a republic based concept. The state combines the two. Very flexible. Washington DC, is a conumdrum of Democracy, Republic, and anarchy (I go to work there every day). From the outside point of view it is controled chaos, and disgusting to the average American. There are no blurred lines, it is rich and poor, with no middle class.

    But it is not a microcosim of the country at large. It is unique. Hell it's not even a state (hence no representation in the Federal government).

    Overdose made a series of comments about concerns of Iraq successfully incorporating democracy into its fabric (paraphrased), but I submit that democracy is already running alive and well in Iraq (in the interimn government). They are arguing, jockeying for position, staging walkouts, comprimising and ...talking...instead of fighting!

    The Federalist Papers point out quite succinctly that the United States fledgling government was not without squabble, nor was France's new Republic. Sometimes it was a ramshackle roughshod brawl!

    Iraq is trying on new shoes, it takes some time to break in the heels...

    v/r

    Q
     
  7. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    Talk, and anything else but fighting

    Quah writes:

    Most probably an essential trait of democracy in a land is when the peoples there can talk and do a lot of other things, to decide on the kind of government they want and what they want from their government, except resorting to violent fighting causing physical injuries and deaths and destruction.

    Now, if we can just bring those guys who are doing the bombing to join in the talking, then it would just be fine; and all the sins of the U.S. are forgiven.

    Off the record, what about using sex and the enticement of money to bring them to the talking table. It's a very effective way from the business sectors to get people to do things, like parting with their money. And the U.S. also is #1 in this area. Right? No?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  8. Kaspar

    Kaspar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't wish to offend any americans just something to think about.

    I agree with these facts which show the many autrocities commited by Saddam Hussein but correct me if I am mistaken but weren't the US and the UK promenant suppliers of Weapons and money to Iraq while he was commiting these crimes? Also why didn't the US, 12 years ago when it fought the 1st Gulf War get Saddam out of Power?

    I think there is a stong resemblance between the support the US gave Saddam when he was commiting acts of genecide against his own people and the support the US gave General Pinocet who as we now know have commited war crimes.

    Lets be realistic, does Iraq have huge huge Oil Reserves? Yes

    Is Oil George Bushs' biggest cash maker? Yes.

    I am not suggesting he went to War on Iraq just to get more Oil, (even though, considering the profits it sounds convincing to alot of people) simply It can't be ignored as a motive.

    If we're really going to talk about removing a terrorist threat to make the world a safer place then what about North Korea? We know for a fact that it has WMD (which we didn't in the War on Iraq) and it is governed by a mental dictator. Wait one things missing...Oil.

    If you want to find out about American Terrorism visit http://www.antiterroristas.cu

    I agree that Saddam Hussein is an very cruel dictator who's removal, anyone with any sense would have supported, but the point is, What do the people of the middle east think? What does Iraq think about its liberation? Well of course there will be millions of Iraqis who wholeheartedly rejoice but it must be seen in the context of Palestine.

    The Arab World watch by as Israel defy another resolution from the UN, and observe how the US pour money into Israel whatever the situation. To them Israel is out of control and can do whatever it wants. The western world hasn't managed to protect the Palestinians. Arabs see the War on Terror as two faced. Conclusively, However the War in Iraq turns out one big difference between now and before the War on Terror is that Muslims across the world feel alienated which is breaking the Religions and people apart.

    Peace
     
  9. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    12
    Hi Kaspar, and welcome to CR - glad to see you were finally able to sign in. And interesting points, too. :)
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,906
    Likes Received:
    5
    Welcome Kaspar, and excellent points all. I can't debate you right now without first researching. I will not spout off things without having hard facts to back them up (for and against the United States). But when I viewed the latest beheading of an un-armed American citizen by terrorists who took great pleasure in pointing out that this was for the "Christian Bush"...I realize that this has become a religious war (as far as some terrorists are concerned). That will be their down fall.

    Kaspar, I love Arabs. I even married one. But something has got to give, and it will not be the US.

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    12
    While the US is certainly open to accusations of manipulation of information and ulterior motives, obviously this does not at all infer that terrorist groups that inoke religion are therefore free of the same accusations. It's pretty obivous that the use of Islam as a weapon by these people is nothing more than attempts at demogoguery - Bin Laden's alleged call to arms after September 11th was pretty indicative of that. And now in Iraq the attempt by thugs to center themselves in some kind of "accepted morality" is pretty sad.

    The Iraq War has simply been one lone unending tragedy, and it is still is not finished.
     
  12. Kaspar

    Kaspar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Al-Quaida

     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2004
  13. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    12
    Re: Al-Quaida

    Darn right there.
     
  14. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am a pacifist.

    Thanks, Kaspar, for your PM.

    You asked about my view on the Iraq war. I had posted some messages here earlier. I will add these musings...

    When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he was wrong.

    Now Bush invaded Iraq. I believe it is also wrong, and turning out to be more and more wrong everyday.

    Some people maintain that war is a part of human nature. I beg to disagree.

    Granted that war is a part of human nature, granting but not conceding of course; then it is not a part of our rational intelligent nature, at most of our emotional nature only. And the tragedy is that we have more often than not allowed our emotions to be in control of our intelligence.

    An example is the tendency of US voters as to their actual inclination in the closely coming election for their president: there are more who although acknowledging that Kerry deservedly won all three debates, yet would vote for Bush on the basis of his unswerving determination to pursue the war, which has been conspicuously shown beyond doubts to have been launched on false pretensions.

    If it were up to me and I have the technological resources, I would gas the whole world with a mood enhancing chemical, so that when a man's emotions reach a certain level of aggression, so that the next step is physical violence on fellowmen, then the chemical would set in to automatically sedate him -- without adverse side effects otherwise.

    I think present state of science and technology can produce such a chemical and its delivery vehicle, at much lesser costs than all the armaments that are now being marketed by advanced nations, like again the USA, the #1 peddler of WMD's today and for for many more years to come. Sad.

    Susma Rio Sep aka Pachomius2000
     
  15. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    0
    With this post, Susma, you won my respect ! :)
     
  16. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Salaam kaspar,



    thank you for the post.

    the problem is that bin Laden doesn't have the authority to declare a jihad. that is reserved exclusively for an Islamic government to declare, which he is not.

    of course, in Islam, there are two ways in which the word jihad is understood... and external jihad, which is an aggressive military action towards another state and an internal struggle which is where the Muslim strives to overcome their character flaws and so forth.

    these are quite important distinctions in Islamic jurisprudence.
     
  17. Kaspar

    Kaspar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Respect

    alaikum Salaam Vajradhara,
    I heard a muslim from Pakistan on the radio, speaking about Bin Laden and he said that for years he has been trying to remove fundementalist muslims, from fighting and killing but he said it proved immensly hard because of the U.S support for them. Anyway IMO the war on terror has made Al-qaeda stronger and blair is a fool for joining in. He dealt with the IRA, surely he knows how that a war won't destroy terrorism. A war is in some ways a form of Terrorism. I'll debate anyone about that if they want to ;).

    by the way Quahom1 and any other US citizen, who are you going to vote for Kerry or Bush?

    thanks :D
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Re: Respect

    there are more than those two choices, you know...

    Candidates for US President, 2004 and their party affiliation:

    Bush - Republican
    Kerry - Democrat
    Amondson - Prohibition
    Peroutka - Constitution
    Cobb - Green
    Badnarik - Libertarian
    Peltier - Peace and Freedom Party of California (Yes, it's Leonard Peltier, ex-AIM member)
    Jay - Personal Choice Party
    Nader - Reform Party
    Brown - Socalist
    Van Auken - Socalist Equality Party
    Calero - Socalist Workers Party
    Parker - Workers World Party
    Andress - Independent
    Harens - Christian Freedom

    and then a whole host of smaller politcal parties and write in candidates.

    it's really a much more broad choice than most folks are aware of... which is sort of a shame, really. there are viable alternates to the two big party boys, it simply takes the time and effort to investigate.
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,906
    Likes Received:
    5
    Re: Respect

    I eh, was thinking of writing in Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Now that's a team that makes some awesome music!

    v/r

    Q
     

Share This Page