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Why isn't Iraq a stable Democracy?

JC Callender

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Japan and Germany weren't exactly stable Democracies before WW2 and they turned out pretty well. What's up with Iraq?

I know there are many different religious factions fighting for power, but I have a theory that the men don't want to give up the control they have over their women. I believe that may be the biggest issue.
 

Chomsky

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Religious extremism gets my vote!
 

Archer

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What's up with Iraq?

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, which carved Iraq as we know it today, trapping ethnic and sectarian hostilities within those dreaded, straight lines, should shoulder some (not all) of the blame.

The Iraqis are highly tribal and they've had the boot of foreigners on their neck for hundreds of years. All the tensions you see now - Sunni/Shi'a, Arab/Kurd - were inevitable once the genie was set out the bottle. Strongmen, like Saddam, have managed to contain some of the angst, but the Western invasion unleashed an unstoppable Kraken.

By contrast, Japan and Germany are both homogeneous states with highly innovative peoples, which might explain their success, but their affinity for open democracy in the modern age is easy to understand. Germany has a long, storied contribution to the European Enlightenment, and Japan has been a hub of intellectual activity since at least China's inward decline some five hundred years ago. Both nations succumbed to totalitarianism in the 20th century, but that was a function of the material conditions of post-WWII (in Germany's case) and Japan's boom after its mighty industrialization.
 

polgara

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Japan and Germany weren't exactly stable Democracies before WW2 and they turned out pretty well. What's up with Iraq?

I know there are many different religious factions fighting for power, but I have a theory that the men don't want to give up the control they have over their women. I believe that may be the biggest issue.

Greetings, JC. :2wave:

Weren't their photos of women, during George Bush's term of office, proudly showing their purple thumbs after they voted in Iraq? That didn't last long, sad to say.... :thumbdown
 

Chomsky

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Any idea why they're so extreme? The Japanese seemed pretty extreme as well.
The Japanese were extreme in support and belief in their emperor it's true, but as part of the WWII surrender & peace negotiations Hirohito had to disavow and separate the emperor as having divine power over the country, which he did indeed do publicly & ceremoniously. This was considered a critical Ally requirement, and for good reason.

In Iraq we have a 1500 year Sunni-Shia war occurring in Iraq and amongst the surrounding theocratic nation states. It's part & parcel of the geography.
 

JC Callender

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Yes and no....

They were extreme in their fanaticism in combat as much as they were extreme in their subservience when (finally) defeated.

Would you say the Japanese are honorable, in that they fought with everything they had to win but then accepted defeat reasonably and strove for the best under their new circumstances?
 

JC Callender

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Greetings, JC. :2wave:

Weren't their photos of women, during George Bush's term of office, proudly showing their purple thumbs after they voted in Iraq? That didn't last long, sad to say.... :thumbdown

Hi there Pg! :kissy:

I remember those pics. Unfortunately, I think we would have to simply take over Iraq and install our Constitution in order for it to work.

Btw, sorry, but extreme heat more than likely coming your way. It'll be 90 here tomorrow. :shock: :sun Hope you have a wonderful weekend either way!!
 

Archer

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The Japanese were extreme in support and belief in their emperor it's true, but as part of the WWII surrender & peace negotiations Hirohito had to disavow and separate the emperor as having divine power over the country, which he did indeed do publicly & ceremoniously. This was considered a critical Ally requirement, and for good reason.

You have to admire the Japanese. They saw their Emperor, God himself, humiliated in defeat by the gum-chewing Americans, and yet they swallowed their pride and adopted our system of market capitalism and liberal democracy. (Okay, admittedly the boots of a few of our troops were involved).
 

JC Callender

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The Sykes-Picot Agreement, which carved Iraq as we know it today, trapping ethnic and sectarian hostilities within those dreaded, straight lines, should shoulder some (not all) of the blame.

The Iraqis are highly tribal and they've had the boot of foreigners on their neck for hundreds of years. All the tensions you see now - Sunni/Shi'a, Arab/Kurd - were inevitable once the genie was set out the bottle. Strongmen, like Saddam, have managed to contain some of the angst, but the Western invasion unleashed an unstoppable Kraken.

By contrast, Japan and Germany are both homogeneous states with highly innovative peoples, which might explain their success, but their affinity for open democracy in the modern age is easy to understand. Germany has a long, storied contribution to the European Enlightenment, and Japan has been a hub of intellectual activity since at least China's inward decline some five hundred years ago. Both nations succumbed to totalitarianism in the 20th century, but that was a function of the material conditions of post-WWII (in Germany's case) and Japan's boom after its mighty industrialization.

Thoughtful post, thanks! This is the first time I remember hearing of this agreement, and after reading up on it I feel pretty foolish that I haven't heard of this yet. Explains a lot.
 

Archer

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Thoughtful post, thanks! This is the first time I remember hearing of this agreement, and after reading up on it I feel pretty foolish that I haven't heard of this yet. Explains a lot.

Basically, the French and British were thinking about their own imperial interests at the time. Any sensible plan would have redrawn boundaries along religious and ethnic lines. But if that had happened, the British would have lost control of the Mediterranean, an Arab superstate might have arisen, spooking the British, etc.

I know we love "diversity" here in the West, but in certain areas of the world it merely intensifies tribalism since it increases competition for resources among groups in defined spaces. You simply cannot have states where the government itself becomes a battleground for rivaling groups. I think it was Lee Kuan Yew who lamented the problem of democracy in heterogeneous states since all individuals vote for what benefits their group, and the largest group votes itself largess of the treasury.
 

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The U.S. has had 250 years experience at wars and mayhem and it most certainly knew what would take place when they cut loose 30 percent of the Sunni population who were the best educated and the most well armed within the country.

The U.S. also knew that to bring a population to it's knees, you need to destroy the infrastructure in Iraq as they did in Libya as well.

“However, we were shocked, when total destruction began – destruction of infrastructure, of buildings, etc. When we asked Americans, why they do that, we were told that, after destruction, there will be rebuilding. “We will rebuild everything and it will be better than before,” they said. Those were the promises. They have never been fulfilled,”
--Former Iraqi Defense Minister, Hazem Shaalan, May 26, 2016--

The U.S. never had any real intention of ever-ever-ever leaving Iraq. Does anybody think that the U.S. would spend a trillion dollars or more in Iraq because it was kind to animal week?

It would not surprise me that the CIA was loading remotely controlled explosives into vehicles with unsuspecting drivers who drove aimlessly throughout Iraq on daily errands, and allowed Special Forces to explode the vehicle at any time or place of their liking.

There are stories where U.S. troops were tying dead Iraqi's to the hoods of their jeeps and baking them in the sun and with the heat of the vehicle engine.

"On one of my trips to drop off a detainee at the jail, the Senior Interrogator told us not to bring them in any more. ‘Just shoot them’ he said, I was stunned, I couldn’t believe he actually said it. He was not joking around, he was giving us a directive. A few days later a group of Humvees from another unit passed by one of our machine gun positions, and they had the bodies of two dead Iraqi’s strapped to their hoods like a couple of deer. One of the bodies had exposed brain matter that had begun to cook onto the hood of the vehicle, it was a gruesome, medieval display."
--Jim Talib HM3 (FMF/PJ), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, November 29, 2004--

The British were found to have dressed their troops in Iraqi garments and were found to be committing atrocities as well.

Read American and British history throughout the ages and it proves without a doubt that this is how "Imperialism Operates."

Money is a weapon of war .....

And the reason that there was skids of cash being flown into Iraq was to funnel it to tribal leaders which caused huge dissention and jealousy between all tribal groups ..... Divide and Conquer.

Democracy was never meant to succeed in Iraq.

Remember Condi Rice passing George Bush the note .... "Freedom Reigns"?

Hazem Shaalan revealed that the first post-Saddam Iraqi government was not elected but instead was fully appointed by Washington
“I was not independent in my ministry,” Shaalan said. “Inside the ministry, there were American inspectors in each department. There were also the British and Australians. There was not a single one department in the ministry, where there would be no inspectors.”

And after 15 years, the U.S. has yet to supply proper planes and helicopters to the Iraqi army so that they might control their own airspace.

Who Are Americans To Think That Freedom Is Theirs To Spread?

Look at the "Democratic" government which was imposed upon Afganistan ....

The president of Afghanistan appoints the governors of each province and district, the mayor of every town, every provincial chief of police, one third of the entire Senate, and even every judge in Afghanistan.

Calm
 
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JC Callender

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Basically, the French and British were thinking about their own imperial interests at the time. Any sensible plan would have redrawn boundaries along religious and ethnic lines. But if that had happened, the British would have lost control of the Mediterranean, an Arab superstate might have arisen, spooking the British, etc.

I know we love "diversity" here in the West, but in certain areas of the world it merely intensifies tribalism since it increases competition for resources among groups in defined spaces. You simply cannot have states where the government itself becomes a battleground for rivaling groups. I think it was Lee Kuan Yew who lamented the problem of democracy in heterogeneous states since all individuals vote for what benefits their group, and the largest group votes itself largess of the treasury.

I like your sig line, but could it also apply to Iraq at this point?
 

Ikari

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Japan and Germany weren't exactly stable Democracies before WW2 and they turned out pretty well. What's up with Iraq?

I know there are many different religious factions fighting for power, but I have a theory that the men don't want to give up the control they have over their women. I believe that may be the biggest issue.

The overall region itself is in chaos, so that makes.it tougher. However, fundamentally the people are too divided and unable to.stand up together and make it stable .
 

polgara

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Hi there Pg! :kissy:

I remember those pics. Unfortunately, I think we would have to simply take over Iraq and install our Constitution in order for it to work.

Btw, sorry, but extreme heat more than likely coming your way. It'll be 90 here tomorrow. :shock: :sun Hope you have a wonderful weekend either way!!

The neighbor's 15 year-old-son came over this afternoon and did some heavy-duty weeding for me around the house to earn some money. It was 85 degrees here, so he only worked for an hour, but he is a good worker and he will be back tomorrow to do some more. I usually weed in the early morning, but since school is done now until Fall, he told me he slept in to celebrate! :mrgreen:

My daughter picked up her little dogs today, too, and took them to her new house, so Polgara's Bed and Breakfast Fun Kennel for dogs is now out of business after months of caring for them, and you know what? I miss the yippy little noisemakers! I still have the Chihuahua, though, and I think he misses them too, since they all grew up together in Houston, but I'm keeping him since my granddaughter gave him to me three years ago! Time marches on, bringing changes to all our lives, doesn't it?

You have a great Holiday weekend, too! :kissy: Daughter is having a cookout, so I'll be there and I'll bring the Chihuhua with me so he knows where the others disappeared to...
 

notquiteright

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Japan and Germany weren't exactly stable Democracies before WW2 and they turned out pretty well. What's up with Iraq? I know there are many different religious factions fighting for power, but I have a theory that the men don't want to give up the control they have over their women. I believe that may be the biggest issue.

Well considering Japan and Germany had far more say in their borders, establishing a common culture, religion and language...

Iraq on the other hand was an artificial nation carved out of the old ottoman empire by the European powers... a mish mash of tribes, religions, languages set within borders drawn in offices far removed from the people who live there...

My theory has far less to do with men wanting to dominate women- if so then what about the fanatic Mormon cults- and far more to do with some Europeans thinking it doesn't matter what the region wants... :peace
 

Jetboogieman

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The Sykes-Picot Agreement, which carved Iraq as we know it today, trapping ethnic and sectarian hostilities within those dreaded, straight lines, should shoulder some (not all) of the blame.

The Iraqis are highly tribal and they've had the boot of foreigners on their neck for hundreds of years. All the tensions you see now - Sunni/Shi'a, Arab/Kurd - were inevitable once the genie was set out the bottle. Strongmen, like Saddam, have managed to contain some of the angst, but the Western invasion unleashed an unstoppable Kraken.

By contrast, Japan and Germany are both homogeneous states with highly innovative peoples, which might explain their success, but their affinity for open democracy in the modern age is easy to understand. Germany has a long, storied contribution to the European Enlightenment, and Japan has been a hub of intellectual activity since at least China's inward decline some five hundred years ago. Both nations succumbed to totalitarianism in the 20th century, but that was a function of the material conditions of post-WWII (in Germany's case) and Japan's boom after its mighty industrialization.

3228de4f0233fe32417c99fe8a546ecd_400x400.png
 

Bootlace

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Religious extremism gets my vote!

I am a veteran of desert storm and hence visited Saudi arabia, Kuwait and iraq. I admit what I whitnesses was in the early 90's. Saudi Arabia is pretty backward. The back third of the bus is plexiglassed off for women as an example. I'm not so sure some of these Arab states want democracy. I could be wrong.
 

Risky Thicket

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Japan and Germany weren't exactly stable Democracies before WW2 and they turned out pretty well. What's up with Iraq?

I know there are many different religious factions fighting for power, but I have a theory that the men don't want to give up the control they have over their women. I believe that may be the biggest issue.

The United States isn't a democracy, stable or otherwise. That is a fact.

Democracy must come from the people. It cannot be imposed on them with (un)realistic expectations regarding success. Democracy, self rule, by definition requires the involvement of the people in their own governance. Without that there is no democracy.

Democracy was revolutionary in the U.S. but the argument can made that it was evolutionary as are most democracies. Citizens become fed the hell up and want an equal and just say in their government.

Iraq wasn't ready for democracy and isn't ready today. Further America has a lot cheek thinking that we can/must carry democracy to the rest of the world. What the hell do we know about it?

Purple fingers ain't diddly if they aren't backed up by sacrifice and commitment from the masses.
 

Gaztopian

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That's a poor comparison. Unlike in Japan and Germany, the U.S wasn't committed to rebuilding Iraq and establishing a stable political system there. Furthermore, the U.S was a belligerent, unprovoked invasion force that was bound to be viewed as the enemy. A better comparison would be to ask why Vietnam didn't turn out a beacon of capitalist democracy at the time following American invasion of the country.

The U.S can try to relinquish responsibility by patronizing others as unworthy of its divine democracy, but such stale goods will continue to appeal to the same demographic that didn't need a pretext to excuse aggression and wrongdoing in the first place.
 

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The arrogance of the US thinking that it could make Iraq or any other Middle Eastern country a democracy is madness and all its allies following suit the mind boggles, Muslims have never been democracies, the have always been ruled by a Caliphate, after the first world war the Ottoman Empire was divided up between England and France (the spoils of war) for you know black gold, Texas T
 

shrubnose

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The Sunni Muslims are fighting with the Shia Muslims for control of the country.

Most of the ISIS people are Sunni.
 
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