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To: Maurice Winn who wrote (67719)1/22/2003 1:31:57 PM
From: michael97123
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"To get what's best for me, I have to think less about what is good for my country and more what is good for everyone on earth"

Are you willing to sacrifice your material well being in this pursuit? Or our democratic institutions? What are you willing to give up to better the world? If the answer is nothing or i dont feel i would have to give up anything, you are living in a dream world. This is why the EU keeps some countries out. One day nations will fade away but that will be in a time of abundance and freedom, not today. If we give up national concerns we will all sink to the lowest common denominator and be led by maniacs like bin laden, cynics like the french or the folks who ran the demonstrations last weekend. mike

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To: michael97123 who wrote (67687)1/22/2003 1:41:42 PM
From: Noel de Leon
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I don't know if the WMDs still exist and as far as I can see from your posts neither do you. At my advanced age I've learned not to trust governments and big governments are particularly not trust worthy. Super powers are totally unworthy of trust.

Whether the UN inspection teams find anything depends, in part, on the USA turning over their intelligence about WMDs in Iraq to the UN teams. It also depends on the amount of time the teams have to find these weapons.

That said I put things away and can't find them either. Try not to hide things because then it's certain that the person from whom I'd try to hide something would find it.

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To: michael97123 who wrote (67687)1/22/2003 1:42:29 PM
From: Noel de Leon
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Trust is good, control is better.(J.Stalin)

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To: Noel de Leon who wrote (67723)1/22/2003 1:52:54 PM
From: michael97123
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Noel,
I must really be naive. It never even dawned on me that an intelligent person could possibly believe that saddam has not kept as much of his wmds as possible. The logical end to your view is a return to American isolationism. Very tempting to me after reading your post.
Strike a deal with saddam for oil so US has as much as we need. The hell with the mideast countries. Hell we could sell saddam arms. The hell with Europe. Then you guys can go fight him when you are shut out of oil.(am assuming you are european here). I often ask myself why i even care about the rest of the world when bright folks like you believe in santa claus scenarios and at your advance age, Noel. Shame. Shame. Mike

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To: FaultLine who started this subject1/22/2003 1:56:54 PM
From: paul_philp
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Two nice opinion pieces on the problems of "Democratizing Iraq". The post-War issues are much more important than the pre-War issues, IMNSHO, but they are not getting near enough debate and analysis. The quality of the future rests on this issue so the stakes are high.

Paul


After the War
Stanley Kurtz

city-journal.org


But if we do decide to try to impose democracy on Iraq, it will be far harder than proponents of democratization recognize. It will entail long, unremitting U.S. effort. Pushed too fast, it could aggravate communal strife, or even usher in Islamic dictatorship. In the end, I haven’t decided if that effort will be worth it. But before we commit ourselves, we had better be quite clear about what we are getting into.



Robert Musil, in response:

musil.blogspot.com


Stanley Kurtz compares post-war Japan with modern Iraq, and concludes on the basis of many historical and structural differences between those two countries that it will be much harder to introduce democracy into Iraq now than it was to do so in Japan after World War II.


His argument has a lot of merit, but it would be worth his while for Mr. Kurtz also to consider the situation in the very Islamic Ottoman Empire just before it became the much-less-Islamic and much-more-democratic Turkey. Turkish democracy is certainly not now perfect and never has been, but it is just as certainly real democracy. If Turkish style democracy can flourish in Iraq, the world will be a much better place than it is now.


Iraq was for centuries part of the Ottoman Empire. Many of the factors Mr. Kurtz cites as hostile to democracy in Iraq applied with even more virulence in the Ottoman Empire. But democratic Turkey was born, anyway. And democratic Turkey was born from within - without the need for any imposition of democracy by foreign occupation, although even Istanbul was briefly occupied by Greek and Western forces after the First World War and Ottoman failure in that campaign and in many prior foreign wars did a lot to discredit the government.


Japan and Turkey have some interesting parallels. For example, the post-WWI social revolution in Turkey was imposed "from the top down" - and so were the Meiji Restoration reforms in Japan. Just as the historic factors against democracy in Iraq may not be as bad as Mr. Kurtz suggests, neither were the factors favoring democracy in Japan necessarily as favorable as he suggests. For example, Mr. Kurtz cites to some Japanese democratic traditions and structures that survived through the 1920's. But, three prime ministers were murdered between 1912 and 1926 and 3 out of 11 Japanese prime ministers were murdered from 1918 to 1932. Japan had no fixed system of laws until 1945. It did have maxims and concepts of justice - but it had no penal code, no system of statutory law and no judge-controlled system of common law and its constitution was highly uncertain in comparison to those of Western nations (even those with unwritten constitutions). The law was not sovereign because pre-WWII Japan was at least nominally a theocracy, but even the meaning of this theocracy was not certain. There were many radical societies that expressly advocated and practiced assassination, including the Ketsumedian, which was dedicated to the assassination of industrialists and financiers. Using a Thompson sub-machine gun and the like was an especially popular way of criticizing one's political opponents in 1920's Japan, especially after 1924 when the armed forces were "reformed" to bring in a lot more nutty officers. In 1932 a group of army and navy officers actually planned to kill Charlie Chaplin - who had dropped by for tea with the prime minister, who was also to be killed - expressly to spark a war with the United States. None of the foregoing was exactly indicative of a well functioning democracy or the deep entrenchment of democratic principles in pre-WWII Japan.


So I'm not so sure that the prospects for democracy in Iraq are as dire as Mr. Kurtz or his factors suggest.

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To: paul_philp who wrote (67721)1/22/2003 1:57:23 PM
From: michael97123
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Paul,
My last posts to noel and mqurice shows how an internationalist like myself might be tempted one day to throw up his hands and join Pat Buchanan in his isolationist camp. I am really getting way tired of this demonization of the US and its leaders and the perpetuation of the both naive and selfish european view as the correct path. Some folks need to wake up or they will find themselves living in a strange world, sooner rather than later--and a world not to their liking. mike@frustration.com

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To: Maurice Winn who wrote (67719)1/22/2003 2:01:46 PM
From: Neeka
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Hi Mq:

My altruism springs from the belief that if the US fails to defend democracy then my visions and dreams of a bright future for Americans.....including my children......die.

All I know is that I have achieved my dreams so far, and I must first give thanks to the brave men and women who lived and died for an idea. Without their vision I wouldn't be here. Every American owes them the deepest measure of gratitude.

My hope is that every citizen on earth eventually be given the opportunities that you and I take for granted. I find it totally amazing, and rather unacceptable that the people of the ME live in such poverty considering the wealth of resources in the region. That their so called "leaders" deny them such basic modern amenities as running water and electricity is inhumane IMO.

Resource grabs have been taking place ever since the first cavemen killed another caveman for a deer. They could almost be considered natural. I think I will let others pontificate on that subject. I certainly don't know how you prevent greed, desire and need from preventing such aggression?


You are right when you say:

Until the rules are changed, it's going to be a dog eat dog world with Chirac snarling at King George II, Hu barking at Taiwan, North Korea facing down South Korea, Saddam the Rottweiler biting anyone who looks worth biting with rabid Osama biting anyone who moves, or doesn't.

It's a simple matter of agreeing on what the rules should be that messes up the whole thing. Until everyone agrees that the fairness of democracy should be the frame work for a beginning, these messes will just keep popping up.

;) M

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To: michael97123 who wrote (67725)1/22/2003 2:06:12 PM
From: Noel de Leon
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The logical conclusion to my view is to support the UN and the inspectors. The US has notoriously(there is an inflammatory word) not supported the UN whole heartedly.

As to Saddam having kept his WMDs or not, that depends on finding them, not on what either you or I believe. If the USAs intelligence services have found them then it is the government of the USA that is criminal in not presenting this evidence to the inspectors.

As to the larger problem of energy for the western world there are more important problems on the horizon. The Hubbert Peak is the first of those.

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To: paul_philp who wrote (67721)1/22/2003 2:09:08 PM
From: JohnM
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Basically, good stuff. I could quarrel a bit about her own placement in the political spectrum but that would be more than a little petty. Thanks for posting it; I enjoyed it.

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To: Maurice Winn who wrote (67710)1/22/2003 2:11:41 PM
From: greenspirit
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Hi Maurice, thanks for the thoughtful post. "Matrix of Malevolence", nice turn of words...

Technology transfers from one nation to another can certainly be a difficult area to carve out specific guidelines on. However, I would hope organizations such as Loral would be responsible enough to understand the potential ramifications of where their products are sold. After all, as an American taxpayer, their R&D research is largely underwritten by taxpayers.

American troops may ultimately face missiles in combat. And God forbid, American cities may one day face them from abroad.

Despite the development of international commerce and its positive effects on mitigating potential conflict, I'm not naive enough to believe a power hungry dictator wouldn't try to end the greatest source of democratic freedom the world has ever known. Trident Missiles, hidden in the depths of the ocean, have kept America safe. Despite the growth of international commerce, the abilty to build something similar, is not shared by many nations.

Do you believe we should share Trident Missile technology with China as well, and encourage them to provide the same thing to North Korea?

An illegal transfer of US technology to China, has the potential for cataclysmic repercussions. China has been shipping advanced missiles to Third World nations such as Syria and Iran.

Just because someone has the money, doesn't mean they should be sold the product. Many rogue nations, run by despot dicators, are similar in deveopmental growth to children. I wouldn't allow my 6 year old to play with guns.

Napalm be damned, North Korea is indeed controlled by a fanatic, who in many ways makes Muslim fanatics pale in comparison. Helping him build nuclear weapons is suicidal.

By the way, I recently read there's only one radio station and one television station in North Korea. I doubt cell phones would be a big hit there for quite a while.

I share you confusion regarding the terms right and left. Especially, when looking around the globe for a standard definition.

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