|What makes us so smart?|
What makes us so smart?
May. 9th, 2006 @ 08:27 am
...so we have Sadam on trial for genocide or "crimes against humanity" or whatever.
I just have to ask... what makes us think we can do better?
I mean... we have this society that's wildly diverse and difficult to deal with... people willing to die themselves than let a different ideology live on.
Is there anyone that perhaps thinks, as horrible as it was, that Sadam was what Iraq needed to keep it's shit together? No... it wasn't fun and warm and fuzzy... but whatever glue he had seemed to work. Maybe it was fear, granted, but maybe for these people, that's what it took to keep them together. Our pledge says "Under God, Indivisable, with liberty and justice for all." Did anyone else notice that NONE of those things apply to Iraq?
I'm not saying people shouldn't have democracy if they want it... but democracy in general requires that people be willing to make occasionally painful compromises for the benefit of the whole. It requires that people be willing to accept that they got out voted, and will yet play by the rules even if they disagree with them. In absence of that, you have civil war... and the only thing that I can think of that would change that scenario is either a change in the mentalities (to accept the requirements of democracy) or a dictatorship that is so feared that one side dare not mess with the other for fear of incuring the wrath.
I know it sucks. I don't think it's right. I don't think it creates happiness. I'm just wondering... MAYBE THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES for Iraq.
|Date:||May 9th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)|| |
i kinda doubt that things were much different there even when saddam was in rule. only difference now is, we're right there front row and center. with all of the extremist factions in that part of the world always blowing each other up, it's a wonder anyone is still alive.
I tend to disagree in that, if managed properly, Iraq could have been turned into a thriving example of democracy in the Middle East. And they had the resources to support themselves (namely, oil). Rebuilding a nation with Western ideals has worked before (see Germany, Japan). But this time around, our fearless leaders refused to acknowledge that this was a nation-building exercise. Anybody who wisely said that more troops would be required to secure the country during the transition were promptly fired. They assumed that once we removed Saddam from power, they could basically handle the reconstruction themselves. But we were dealing with a population who was not at all familiar with democracy. They've lived most of their lives under a strong dictator. We removed that dictator and created a power vacuum, and it's a foregone conclusion that there would be mayhem.
If Rumsfeld had been honest with himself (and us) in saying that this was, in fact, an occupation and a nation-building exercise, and if we'd maintained a strong sense of order from the very start, we could have ended up with a strong ally in the Middle East, instead of a huge terrorist breeding ground.
People get the government they deserve. (Yes, I'm a cynic.)
I agree that our exact form of democracy is probably a bad fit for the current culture in Iraq. I think we have a hard time understanding that some of our fundamental values don't apply there. For instance, we place the value of human life higher than just about anything else. But their culture places honor and obedience higher, at least sometimes. (I admit I'm largely ignorant of Iraqi culture and might be way off base in my generalization.) It's things like that that make grafting our form of government onto their society so hard, and people don't talk about that very much.
By the way, the Pledge of Aliegance isn't one of the foundations of our government. It has no legal standing whatsoever. I'm more interested in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. How can you have civil rights in a nation that is governed by Islamic law?
How can you have civil rights in a nation that is governed by Islamic law?
How can you have civil rights in a nation that is governed by fundamentalist Christian law?
Well, good point. However our nation is not governed by Christian law, fundamentalist or otherwise, and I fervently hope it never comes to that.
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