Skip to comments.Iraq course bound to end badly
Posted on 08/22/2005 11:27:24 AM PDT by churchillbuff
What does "stay the course" mean? At one time it meant "regime change." Then it came to mean "weapons of mass destruction," then it meant "war on terror." Now apparently it means an Iraq that is "democratic and free." ...that is nonsense. How many Arab countries are currently both free and democratic -- from Mauritania to Saudi Arabia? Not a one. Does that not suggest that it would be impossible for the United States to impose on Arab culture what we mean by freedom and democracy? In fact, how many Muslim countries can boast of Western-style civil society and democracy? Turkey, maybe, at least up to a point. Iran? Pakistan? Bangladesh? Indonesia? Does that suggest that in its present form Islamic culture is not conducive to what we mean by democracy? ...[snip]
In Iraq ...the Shiite majority is struggling to create an Islamic republic on the Iranian model, more moderate, perhaps, but still a theocratic state in which the mullahs have supreme power -- and women have almost no rights at all. Indeed "staying the course" seems to mean fighting Iran's war against Iraq with Chinese money (which pays for the part of the national debt the war is piling up through the purchase of American treasury notes).
I do not deny that there are elements in the Islamic heritage that are compatible with a civil and democratic society. I insist, however, that these elements do not dominate today in any Islamic country, again with the partial exception of Turkey. But President Bush is nonetheless going to create by sheer willpower and the blood of American troops such a society in Iraq?
....Most Americans believe that real democracy is something like our own. They believe that the president is promising that in Iraq. It is a foolish, ignorant, stupid promise.
Democracy does not mean merely that the majority of voters elect their rulers. It also means the rights of the minority are protected. It means freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the right to seek redress of grievance, an impartial and independent judiciary, it means no street violence after an election, the right to presumed innocence and to appeal court decisions, respect for those who are different from you, protection of property and contracts, a stable and generally accepted civic culture, civilian control of the military and the police -- all the precious and priceless freedoms and rights which we Americans take for granted -- however imperfectly they may be protected or honored.
Majority rule, without these kinds of safeguards, turns into tyranny, total power invested in the monarch or the general or the cleric or the caudillo or maximum leader or whoever else claims at gunpoint to embody the will of the people. No matter how long Bush "stays the course" in Iraq, the history of that part of the world suggests that the end result of our "regime change" will be something like that. For this, American blood is being spilled?
Western democracy, far from perfect, is still the best there is. One may call what goes on in Cuba or Russia or China or Egypt or Algeria or Pakistan or Indonesia democracy not in the Western style, if one wishes. But the president should not deceive the American people. What will happen in Iraq will be very much like what existed before Saddam came to power and eventually lead, in the name of the will of the people, to another tyrant who will rule with an automatic weapon in his hand.
Not this sh*t again...
Sounds allot like the circulation numbers of the windy city blow and blather.
I took out Greeley's gratuitous insults against Bush, so the main points of his argument could be read without that distraction. He's arguing that democracy with Western-style bill of rights can't be grafted onto the cultural stock of the Arab Muslim middle east. Instead, Iraq will end up, again, with strong-man, one-party or one-religion rule.
How could "Stay the course" mean "regime change." As if this makes any sense at all...
BUSH 2002: "I'm staying the course with regime change in Iraq..."
What silliness these so-called pundits spew via their cake holes...
That's what I say when I see reports of how the Iraq constitution is going to enshrine Islam as the source of law. Our soldiers died for that?
Greely's an idiot.
That's the only response this drivel deserves.
let's see what happens. the main problem is that Bush does not have the political backing here at home to tell this interim government "take a hike, we are going to start over". If support for the war were 60-65%, we could do that. since its not, we have to take what we can get, because starting over is not politically sustainable.
If I said more I get banned from FR...
When they make Islam their source of laws, all will have been lost. It will be very, very soon.
Clueless Andy, and a racist to boot.
Kind of ignoring the entire cold war experience - not to mention post WWII experience - don't ya think?
Don't buy into that MSM meme, nor any other for that matter.
The fact that Islam is being enshrined in the new Iraq constitution isn't "drivel." It's the truth -- the sickening truth. Unless you think that Shi'ite Islam (as practiced and written into civil law, in Iran) is a wonderful religion.
As long as Iraq will be under the law of Islam (as denoted by a recent Drudge headline, "Iraq draft says laws must conform to Islam"), Iraq will never be a true democracy.
Did anyone really expect a different outcome?
I don't get your point. When did we invade a country and impose "regime change" during the Cold War? Our successful doctrine was "containment".
It's ending pretty good if you are a Shia Sharia advocate.
"""the president should not deceive the American people. What will happen in Iraq will be very much like what existed before Saddam came to power and eventually lead, in the name of the will of the people, to another tyrant who will rule with an automatic weapon in his hand."""
Sources? I read that Islam will be "a main source" for the constitution. Why is this a shock?
"[President Bush] is not another Hitler. Yet there is a certain parallelism. They have in common a demagogic appeal to the worst side of a country's heritage in a crisis. Bush is doubtless sincere in his vision of what is best for America. So too was Hitler."--columnist Andrew Greeley, Chicago Sun-Times, June 11
It looks like Greeley attended the Code Pink school of public speaking.
It doesn't seem that it's being enshrined. Go to , http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/ They present some hopeful signs. With Iraq being 60% women, I doubt that Sharia law will be imposed. I have faith in the process Bush started. It wont be easy, but it be successful. Afghanistan is much more religious than Iraq and women there are on equal footing on most matters. Remember, the citizens of Iraq will vote on this matter. They will not vote themselves into an Iranian type theocracy. It seems the pols there know where the real power lies -- with the people.
These people are Muslims.
Muslims have a habit of injecting their religion into any government they form. It is inevitable. Even an officially secular state like Turkey can't get away from it. That's the way things are.
Frankly, I don't give a rat's patoot what kind of government they end up with as long as they no longer sponsor terrorism against the West, as Saddam did.
It's still drivel.
I would say its too early to use the word "enshrined".
the post WWII analogy is correct - we allowed the emperor of Japan to remain in place, as a figurehead, in order to facilitate japanese reconstruction and a constitutional process there. we even went so far as to spare him from being tried for war crimes.
that said, this still could go very badly. if women's rights are eliminated, if mullahs and clerics start holding government positions of authority, we are in trouble.
"Greely's an idiot.
"That's the only response this drivel deserves."
Got that right. Get tired of conservatives who
always want to throw in the towel. Let's take
'em on, man. We'll kick their fannies.
Who in the h-- are they? Go to any legitimate news source on the planet -- from the Daily Telegraph of London to the Tapei Times to the Washington Times -- and they report that Islam is being written into the constitution-- or at least that's what the Shi'ia delegates to the convention are insisting on , and they have a plurality
Strikes me you're kind of declaring defeat while the thing is still in progress, cb, and so is Greeley. That aside, what form of Iraqi government would satisfy you? What would they have to build before you'd declare victory?
Three Bishops refute flawed theology of Fr. Andrew Greeley
In an article by Barbara Kralis.
...Fr. Andrew Greeley perpetuated the second controversy regarding the same memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger.
None would dispute that Fr. Greeley is the Catholic darling of the secular media. Whenever the major news marketers require an interviewee regarding Catholic Church issues, they indisputably call upon the ubiquitous Fr. Greeley.
Author of numerous nigh on pornographic novels, Father Greeley is under the authority of Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. It is not known if Cardinal George has imposed any disciplines upon the aging hippy Father Greeley whose behavior is not consistent with the ordained priesthood.
True to form, in an August 10, 2004 New York Daily News article, Fr. Greeley crafted a column that disparaged faithful Bishops and used the deceitful headline Catholics can vote for Kerry.
In this article, Fr. Greeley dishonestly stated that His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that Catholics could vote for Presidential candidate John Kerry who promotes procured abortion.
Fr. Greeley was fraudulently referring to the Cardinal Ratzinger memorandum.
Yes, but we totally wrote old Japanese ways out of their new constitution --- WE wrote their constitution. In Iraq, the Shi-ias are writing it, and they're doing exactly the opposite of what we did with the Japanese Constitution- they're putting the old religion into law.
Liberals sure have fun redefining words to their own ends, don't they?
Heh heh. Good catch.
Yes, he's probably a heretic on theology (I'm not Catholic) and he's definitely an obnoxious guy. But when he observes that Islam is getting a favored role in the Iraq constitution -- or the Shi'ia are insisting on such -- he's merely stating a fact. And when he says it was stupid to think we could graft Western BillofRights democracy onto the cultural stock of a Muslim Arab country, he's being more realistic -- and classically conservative -- thant the utopians who assured us it could happen
Even the most pro-war gung ho type (like me) realizes this was a total waste of effort if they write up a sharia based constitution.
So were/did the invasions of Guadal Canal, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Let's be French and just surrender. /sarc
WW II would have been a waste if we'd left the Germans with a Nazi-based constitution. We're now in the process of leaving Iraq with a Shi-'ia Islam based constitution.
Apparently, the author has not has his head out of his behind in several years.
BAGHDAD, Aug 22 (Reuters) - A draft constitution for Iraq to be presented to parliament on Monday will make Islam "a main source" for legislation and ban laws that contradict religious teachings, members of the parliamentary drafting panel said.
The idea of a constitution and seperation of powers is western.
Perhaps, but Bush has said from the beginning that Democracy in Iraq wouldn't look like the U.S., so he's telling us stuff we already know.
And he gets paid to do this?
"Walk out of cave and make fire, bound to end badly" - Zog
Depends on how they interpret the Quran. There seems to be some disagreement on that.
ITM is the most influential blog in Iraq. Their information is often from direct sources. They report directly from TV and paper sources. Two of the founders of ITM even meet President Bush last December. They are a fantastic source of information from Iraq. They often spend time translating news from Arabic; news never seen here.
Greeley's saying the same thing. He's saying it will look like an old-fashion Middle East dictatorship, with one-party or one-religion rule. Glad I counseled all the young people in my family against enlisting in this war. It wasn't worth the blood of young Americans. Any more than Bill Clinton's wars in Haiti and Somalia were. In 2000 Bush promised no more of that squandering of the lives of US troops for utopian nation-building. I applauded. He should have kept his word.
If it's ignoring facts that all reputable news sources are reporting, it doesn't deserve to be very influential. From what you say about it, it sounds like it cherry picks news and shuts its eyes to the Islamic influence on the new constitution.
Sharia law will NOT be basis of their Constitution. Iraq is 60% women and they will not vote to put themselves under an Iranian style theocracy. Rueters is putting the worse possible spin on this. Remember, this all has to be voted upon by the people. I doubt they will submit to having theocrats ruling their lives.
Actually, that part, I think, is a pretty good question. What DOES Stay the course mean? And when do we get "there"? I think the erratic John McCain, in a moment of lucidity, had a pretty good definition. When he can fly into Baghdad International, get off the plane, and drive down the freeways and main streets to the green zone without escorts and without having to worry for his life.
And re that constitution, people forget that half the country is women and they get a vote on it so, while they alone aren't enough to torpedo it if it's too restrictive, they wield considerable political power. And we will be making sure they get to vote.
Unless their men won't let them out of the house, of course.
And in Iran, you can't make the assumption those black-robed mullahs are going to be running things forever. Right now I think you've got a government that's going to make their rule look like a tea party.
I agree with you, however, we should be very concerned about the possibility of Iraq becoming more or less an extended client state of Iran. Iran is one of the biggest state sponsors of terrorism in the world after all, which I think is why they were included as a member of the Axis of Evil, and rightly so.
If that ends up happening, the situation might well end up being as bad or worse than it was before. An eventual showdown of some kind or another with Iran seems inevitable.
Who knows, maybe the experiment will work.
If not, there's always Plan B
Actually, democracy doesn't mean ANY of that at all, which is why it's a bad system of government. Democracy is mob rule. A constitutional republic is required to protect minority interests.