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Why We Will Never See Democracy in the Middle East
ABC News ^ | September 11, 2006 | Steven Pressfield

Posted on 10/08/2006 7:11:46 AM PDT by Axhandle

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I was surprised to not see this posted here yet.

I cannot agree with the author's title, but the article is very interesting nonetheless.

1 posted on 10/08/2006 7:11:48 AM PDT by Axhandle
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To: Axhandle
Nonsense as usual. All ready have it in Iraq and Afgainistan. More hysteria from rabid know nothings
2 posted on 10/08/2006 7:13:00 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Evil Dooer, Snowflake, Conservative Fundamentalist Bush Bot Dittohead reporting for duty!)
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To: Axhandle

They've already got democracy in the Middle East. I guess this guy doesn't read the paper.


3 posted on 10/08/2006 7:15:13 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Axhandle

Europe was tribal, then it went to Monarchies, then it went to Democracy.

Much of the Middle East has already been in the Monarchy state for hundreds of years.

This is pure bs.


4 posted on 10/08/2006 7:22:40 AM PDT by Paloma_55 (I may be a hateful bigot, but I still love you)
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To: Axhandle
The Americas were infested with tribal societies prior to 1492, Happy Columbus Day! It took 300 years of so, and there is a resurgence of Spanish speaking tribes such as MS-13, but the problem has largely been solved. We played Cowboys and Indians then, and now it is time to play Cowboys and Islamofascists.
5 posted on 10/08/2006 7:22:56 AM PDT by SubMareener (Become a monthly donor! Free FreeRepublic.com from Quarterly FReepathons!)
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To: MNJohnnie

---
Nonsense as usual. All ready have it in Iraq and Afgainistan. More hysteria from rabid know nothings
---

Someone needs to show this clown where Israel and Turkey are located.



6 posted on 10/08/2006 7:23:08 AM PDT by avacado
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To: Brilliant

Tribalism may work well enough in areas of low population density and little travel/trade. Definitely not the stuff of civilization or high civilization. Send those that want it out into the desert with their camels, otherwise thwey should expect a different form of social organization.


7 posted on 10/08/2006 7:23:20 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Islam is the religion of violins, NOT peas.)
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To: Axhandle

Nazism reverted Europe to tribalism on a grand scale -- and we reverted it back. Tribalism is endemic to human society -- e.g., the Mafia, the Mexifornian gangs -- but it should have a minor role. Another world for tribalism is racism, and it's destructive no matter where it appears.


8 posted on 10/08/2006 7:24:22 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Teddy drank, people sank.)
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To: Axhandle

Bring Them Freedom, Or They Destroy Us
Real Clear Politics ^ | September 20, 2006 | Bernard Lewis

http://freerepublic.com/focus/news/1715287/posts
Posted on 10/06/2006 11:54:57 PM CDT by neverdem


The following is adapted from a lecture delivered by Bernard Lewis on July 16, 2006, on board the Crystal Serenity, during a Hillsdale College cruise in the British Isles.


By common consent among historians, the modern history of the Middle East begins in the year 1798, when the French Revolution arrived in Egypt in the form of a small expeditionary force led by a young general called Napoleon Bonaparte--who conquered and then ruled it for a while with appalling ease. General Bonaparte--he wasn't yet Emperor--proclaimed to the Egyptians that he had come to them on behalf of a French Republic built on the principles of liberty and equality. We know something about the reactions to this proclamation from the extensive literature of the Middle Eastern Arab world. The idea of equality posed no great problem. Equality is very basic in Islamic belief: All true believers are equal. Of course, that still leaves three "inferior" categories of people--slaves, unbelievers and women. But in general, the concept of equality was understood. Islam never developed anything like the caste system of India to the east or the privileged aristocracies of Christian Europe to the west. Equality was something they knew, respected, and in large measure practiced. But liberty was something else.


As used in Arabic at that time, liberty was not a political but a legal term: You were free if you were not a slave. The word liberty was not used as we use it in the Western world, as a metaphor for good government. So the idea of a republic founded on principles of freedom caused some puzzlement. Some years later an Egyptian sheikh--Sheikh Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi, who went to Paris as chaplain to the first group of Egyptian students sent to Europe--wrote a book about his adventures and explained his discovery of the meaning of freedom. He wrote that when the French talk about freedom they mean what Muslims mean when they talk about justice. By equating freedom with justice, he opened a whole new phase in the political and public discourse of the Arab world, and then, more broadly, the Islamic world.


Is Western-Style Freedom Transferable?


What is the possibility of freedom in the Islamic world, in the Western sense of the word? If you look at the current literature, you will find two views common in the United States and Europe. One of them holds that Islamic peoples are incapable of decent, civilized government. Whatever the West does, Muslims will be ruled by corrupt tyrants. Therefore the aim of our foreign policy should be to insure that they are our tyrants rather than someone else's--friendly rather than hostile tyrants. This point of view is very much favored in departments of state and foreign offices and is generally known, rather surprisingly, as the "pro-Arab" view. It is, of course, in no sense pro-Arab. It shows ignorance of the Arab past, contempt for the Arab present, and unconcern for the Arab future. The second common view is that Arab ways are different from our ways. They must be allowed to develop in accordance with their cultural principles, but it is possible for them--as for anyone else, anywhere in the world, with discreet help from outside and most specifically from the United States--to develop democratic institutions of a kind. This view is known as the "imperialist" view and has been vigorously denounced and condemned as such.


In thinking about these two views, it is helpful to step back and consider what Arab and Islamic society was like once and how it has been transformed in the modern age. The idea that how that society is now is how it has always been is totally false. The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq or the Assad family in Syria or the more friendly dictatorship of Mubarak in Egypt--all of these have no roots whatsoever in the Arab or in the Islamic past. Let me quote to you from a letter written in 1786--three years before the French Revolution--by Mssr. Count de Choiseul-Gouffier, the French ambassador in Istanbul, in which he is trying to explain why he is making rather slow progress with the tasks entrusted to him by his government in dealing with the Ottoman government. "Here," he says, "things are not as in France where the king is sole master and does as he pleases." "Here," he says, "the sultan has to consult." He has to consult with the former holders of high offices, with the leaders of various groups and so on. And this is a slow process. This scenario is something radically different than the common image of Middle Eastern government today. And it is a description that ceased to be true because of a number of changes that occurred.

(snip)

Conclusion


Let's spend a moment or two defining what we mean by freedom and democracy. There is a view sometimes expressed that "democracy" means the system of government evolved by the English-speaking peoples. Any departure from that is either a crime to be punished or a disease to be cured. I beg to differ from that point of view. Different societies develop different ways of conducting their affairs, and they do not need to resemble ours. And let us remember, after all, that American democracy after the War of Independence was compatible with slavery for three-quarters of a century and with the disenfranchisement of women for longer than that. Democracy is not born like the Phoenix. It comes in stages, and the stages and processes of development will differ from country to country, from society to society. The French cherish the curious illusion that they invented democracy, but since the great revolution of 1789, they have had two monarchies, two empires, two dictatorships, and at the last count, five republics. And I'm not sure that they've got it right yet.


There are, as I've tried to point out, elements in Islamic society which could well be conducive to democracy. And there are encouraging signs at the present moment--what happened in Iraq, for example, with millions of Iraqis willing to stand in line to vote, knowing that they were risking their lives, is a quite extraordinary achievement. It shows great courage, great resolution. Don't be misled by what you read in the media about Iraq. The situation is certainly not good, but there are redeeming features in it. The battle isn't over. It's still very difficult. There are still many major problems to overcome. There is a bitter anti-Western feeling which derives partly and increasingly from our support for what they see as tyrannies ruling over them. It's interesting that pro-American feeling is strongest in countries with anti-American governments. I've been told repeatedly by Iranians that there is no country in the world where pro-American feeling is stronger, deeper and more widespread than Iran. I've heard this from so many different Iranians--including some still living in Iran--that I believe it. When the American planes were flying over Afghanistan, the story was that many Iranians put signs on their roofs in English reading, "This way, please."


So there is a good deal of pro-Western and even specifically pro-American feeling. But the anti-American feeling is strongest in those countries that are ruled by what we are pleased to call "friendly governments." And it is those, of course, that are the most tyrannical and the most resented by their own people. The outlook at the moment is, I would say, very mixed. I think that the cause of developing free institutions--along their lines, not ours--is possible. One can see signs of its beginning in some countries. At the same time, the forces working against it are very powerful and well entrenched. And one of the greatest dangers is that on their side, they are firm and convinced and resolute. Whereas on our side, we are weak and undecided and irresolute. And in such a combat, it is not difficult to see which side will prevail.


I think that the effort is difficult and the outcome uncertain, but I think the effort must be made. Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.

Bernard Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.


9 posted on 10/08/2006 7:27:04 AM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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To: Axhandle
The last line of the article is an interesting contrast to the title:

We will not find the way to contest him, let alone defeat him, until we see the struggle against him within the greater context of this millenia-old, unaltering, East-West war.

If you believe wars are to be won -- through the defeat of enemies -- then there is a solution.

10 posted on 10/08/2006 7:27:21 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Teddy drank, people sank.)
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To: Axhandle
Of course they completely ignore Israel, but I keep forgetting with some of these folks, Israel "doesn't really exist". :P

And yeah, if it works, the rest of the ME should become "Israel". Waiting for lib heads to explode...

11 posted on 10/08/2006 7:29:06 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: MNJohnnie

Not sure what you mean by "it". If you mean democracy, it's at best a very fragile seed planted in both places and not yet taken root. If / when the U.S. pulls out of either country, I see democracy going out the door in less than a year.

The general understanding in Afghanistan is that Karzai is the mayor of Kabul... not the leader of the country. In Iraq, most of Baghdad remains outside of the control purportedly rendered from the Green Zone. Tribalism still dominates both countries. Afghanistan has the Tajik Northern Alliance and most of the rest of the country is Pashtun (Taliban). Even among those groups you have subgroups (i.e., sub tribes) run by warlords / opium growers / smugglers. As for Iraq, where to start? Kurds in the North, Sunnis, Shia. All tribes.

I remember hearing a quote once that illustrates the Arab tribal mindset (and I paraphrase) - "My country against your country, my tribe against your tribe, my town against your town, my family against your family, me against you." The tribe goes all the way down to the man.

Just a little non-tribal dissent for thought.


12 posted on 10/08/2006 7:30:41 AM PDT by Camerican (It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing - Macbeth)
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To: Axhandle
Rush always says that history to some starts the day they were born. Mr. Pressfield obviously is in that crowd. If I remember correctly, all of Western Civilization were "tribal societies" from which grew all the great "democracys". Great Britian is the most glaring example. From them came the greatest of all, the United States.....all from tribal roots.

All it takes to make a tribal society into a "democracy" is a few committed individuals within the tribe to force the issue...and the majority of the rest of the tribe will respond to the offer of freedom.

13 posted on 10/08/2006 7:31:03 AM PDT by B.O. Plenty (liberalism, abortions and islam are terminal)
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To: Axhandle

It is my thought that the movement to cities and growth of cities will overcome the tribal allegiences that are territorial.

Fathers and uncles are tribal, sons and cousins in cities pay lipservice. Grandsons forget about it altogether.


14 posted on 10/08/2006 7:35:53 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Foley is why we don't allow queers to be Scoutmasters.)
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To: B.O. Plenty
It would take several powerful individuals within the tribe to force the issue, probably taking down the leader as well...otherwise they just get beheaded.

If you really think about this article, there is a lot of truth in it. Sure there are ME democracies, of which only one is remotely civilized, Israel. But the Sunnis are a sort of tribe, as are the Shia, the Kurds, the Turks, the Persians, the Afghan warlords, Somali warlords, Sudani militias etc. They really don't care about the welfare of others outside their groups. They kill and do what is best to put their group in power. The entire West is just the Others, merely pawns to obliterate and eventually take their land.

The Others will eventually have to come together as a supertribe. That will get their respect.

15 posted on 10/08/2006 7:43:16 AM PDT by Sender (Error 404: tagline not found)
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To: Axhandle

This is the typical leftwing tripe that endangers the West.

First the author states:

"Tribalism and the tribal mind-set are what the West is up against in Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the Iraqi insurgency, the Sunni and Shiite militias, and the Taliban."

Then his describes:

"The tribesman does not operate by a body of civil law but by a code of honor. If he receives a wrong, he does not seek redress. He wants revenge. The taking of revenge is a virtue in tribal eyes, called badal in the Pathan code of nangwali. A man who does not take revenge is not a man. Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the sectarian militias of Iraq are not in the war business, they are in the revenge business. The revenge-seeker cannot be negotiated with because his intent is bound up with honor. It is an absolute."

Then, in typical anti-west leftwing fashion he concludes that this type of behavior is morally eqivalent to the American/Western form form of democratic government:

"The tribesman isn't 'wrong' or 'evil.' He just doesn't want what we're selling."

The irony here is that while the author is trying to be non-judgmental, he is basically saying mid-easterners are mentally incapable of democratic government. It took Americans nearly 150 years from first setting foot in Jamestown to revolt and start the beginings of a democratic gov't. It took another 10 years after the Revolutionary War to establish a true federal government and a Constitution. Why do we expect Iraqis to do it over night. I think THAT is what is unrealistic.


16 posted on 10/08/2006 7:44:32 AM PDT by The Hound Passer (Just another Dumb, Ignorant, Bush Supporter (most of the time))
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To: Axhandle
ABC News ^ | September 11, 2006 | Steven Pressfield

That's all I needed to see.

Steven needs to take a little tour of the Middle East. He might find a couple of new democracies if he did.

17 posted on 10/08/2006 7:47:37 AM PDT by Allegra (Super Elastic Bubble Plastic!)
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To: Axhandle

Israel and Iraq prove that abc just can't get any story correct. Do they try to lie, or is it just such a natural act for such low-lifes!?

LLS


18 posted on 10/08/2006 7:47:54 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Preserve America... kill terrorists... destroy dims!)
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To: Axhandle
Extremist Islam is merely an overlay (and a recent one at that) atop the primal, unchanging mind-set of the East, which is tribalism, and its constituent individual, the tribesman.

No racism here...

19 posted on 10/08/2006 7:53:10 AM PDT by TheDon (Angry at the Republican Party = Democrat Tool)
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To: Brilliant

Sonds more like he's been reading Kipling.


20 posted on 10/08/2006 7:54:42 AM PDT by johnny7 (“And what's Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda... what's Fonzie like?!”)
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To: Axhandle

The neo-confederates that hang onto their flag in the south are an example of American tribalism.

:)


21 posted on 10/08/2006 7:55:11 AM PDT by tkathy (The Real Republican (RR) way is sticking to the issues and not finger pointing.)
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To: B.O. Plenty
"...history to some starts the day they were born...."

I would qualify that to say that "history to some starts each day when they wake up.

Specifically, liberals.

22 posted on 10/08/2006 7:57:00 AM PDT by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: Axhandle
Islam is about six hundred years younger than Christianity. Where were we and what were we doing six hundred years ago? We were a hodgepodge of nations, feudal states, city states, and nomadic tribes in Europe with the church being the most dominant force.
23 posted on 10/08/2006 7:59:21 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: Axhandle

Later.


24 posted on 10/08/2006 8:01:46 AM PDT by arkady_renko
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To: MNJohnnie
All ready have it in Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, yes and no. While a democratic superstructure has been put in place in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is struggling to maintain itself while 'tribalism' continues to rule the streets. Against my hopes, I sense that the push for democracy is losing steam.
25 posted on 10/08/2006 8:02:07 AM PDT by ArmyTeach
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To: Axhandle
It's quite silly. Just because a democracy on par with ours isn't running at full speed and fully functioning doesn't mean it isn't happening. Furthermore, this stuff takes time, I mean over here we didn't get it right for some time even after the country was established. It is an interesting article, but it ignores the fact that these things take time, fully functioning governments do not spring up overnight.
26 posted on 10/08/2006 8:07:07 AM PDT by Niuhuru
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To: Axhandle
Didn't the Western world have tribes? Didn't we have Celts, Jutes, Britons, Saxons, Angles, Huns, Goths and so on?

The West had those but they had one thing more that united them they had the Christian faith which in the long run rose above tribalism because it was monolithic.

27 posted on 10/08/2006 8:08:16 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Those that do not heed the warnings of history....)
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To: Axhandle
[ Why We Will Never See Democracy in the Middle East ]

WRONG... Sharia law IS democracy.. Democracy is MOB RULE...
Islam is has always been ruled by Mob Rule.. Tribal Law..

Like Canada and virtually all Euopean countrys.. including England.. Democracy results in socialism and socialism is Slavery by Government..
--------------------------------

Democracy is the road to socialism. Karl Marx

Democracy is indispensable to socialism. The goal of socialism is communism. V.I. Lenin

The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.- Karl Marx
--------------------------------

About the author...
"Nice boy, but he's about as sharp as a bowling ball"-Foghorn Leghorn

28 posted on 10/08/2006 8:09:07 AM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole.)
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To: Axhandle

Rome wasn't built in a day, Mr. Pressfield.


29 posted on 10/08/2006 8:11:37 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: B.O. Plenty
"All it takes to make a tribal society into a 'democracy' is a few committed individuals within the tribe to force the issue...and the majority of the rest of the tribe will respond to the offer of freedom."

I agree. But we've got a whole lot of tribes and past grievances and outside actors to contend with.

I found this article while reading a blog post about tribalism. I did not find that post to be all that useful, but it did have an interesting point about religion being a historically successful means of overcoming tribalism: "The universe is a unity. Since it is a unity there can be only one Maker. Tribal gods are null and void. Unity for a nation then becomes possible."

Kind of an oddly worded way of saying it, but basically allegiance to the tribe (the extended family) is difficult to overcome, but it can be overcome, substituted and/or augmented with allegiance to the greatest elder of all: our maker. Religion has been a key instrument in uniting. It is how Mohammed united the Arab tribes, for example.

The problem that we now face in Iraq is that religion already united the tribes. Hussein, especially after Desert Storm, very skillfully reconstituted tribal politics in order to reconsolidate his hold on power. A great article that I read a while back (which I am no longer able to find online) was called "Neo-Tribalism in Iraq". It discussed how tribalism came to dominate Iraqi politics, how rewards and punishments were doled out to tribes more so than individuals or other groups. It also discussed, to my surprise, tribal wars in the 90s that were so large and violent that the government didn't even intervene. There were, in some cases, tribes literally firing Howitzers at one another.

So how to unify the tribes now? Religion has already been used and tribalism revived. Try another religion, perhaps? Prosletyzing in the mideast goes over about as well as a fart in church. Many who have commented on this thread point out that we have democracy in the mideast - just look at the votes that have been held and the purple fingers being waved. Well, congratulations to them for reading the title of the article and nothing else. If our goal were to hold an election or two, then our mission is accomplished and we can pack up and go home. Our goal is to establish a sustainable democracy - not hold a couple of elections.

Tribalism and religion are the big stumbling blocks for us as we try to formulate and implement a strategy for creating a sustainable democracy in Iraq. Religion can effectively overcome tribalism, but religion has been effectively manipulated to rally the masses against building institutions necessary for democracy. This has caused us to often resort to exploiting tribal politics as an expedient means to gaining cooperation from the people, which reinforces the tribalism that lends itself to conditions that are not conducive to democracy.

3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Repeat.

30 posted on 10/08/2006 8:11:56 AM PDT by Axhandle
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To: Valin
Why would we want to plant the mob rule of democracy anywhere, anyway? The United States is not supposed to be a democracy, but a REPUBLIC, and the difference was clearly enunciated in all military training manuals up until the end of the Second World War; the maintenance of the Republic was the instruction in those manuals.
31 posted on 10/08/2006 8:12:41 AM PDT by Free Baptist
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To: Axhandle
Democracy and Islam do not coexist well.
32 posted on 10/08/2006 8:16:02 AM PDT by ßuddaßudd (7 days - 7 ways Guero » with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: tkathy

You really don't understand us do you. We are 100% American, we put Americans into space, we refine the Gas that Americans ride to work using, and we answer the call of our Nation in far greater numbers than any other geographic area. That flag is not tribal, but a statement in contrast to the dbm and their forced interpretation of it.

American Tribalism was cemented with the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11. You are either with us, or against us... an American, or an anti-American... that's my only "tribe"! That's my only creed!

LLS


33 posted on 10/08/2006 8:16:14 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Preserve America... kill terrorists... destroy dims!)
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To: Axhandle

A Representative Republic will do.


34 posted on 10/08/2006 8:17:21 AM PDT by Recovering Hermit (There's another old saying Senator..."Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.")
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To: Axhandle

Tribalism?

No problem. Simple answer: Reservations.

Followed by Casinos and cheap smokes.


35 posted on 10/08/2006 8:17:29 AM PDT by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: ArmyTeach
Fourteen of the Provinces in Iraq practice democracy without these aberrations. The Kurds are a prime example. We MUST give dues where they are deserved.

LLS
36 posted on 10/08/2006 8:18:07 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Preserve America... kill terrorists... destroy dims!)
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To: tkathy

I think they are more into the 10th amendment, actually.


37 posted on 10/08/2006 8:19:08 AM PDT by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Naziism was in 1937.)
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To: Axhandle

Who cares about Arab democracy? I just want them pacified and removed from the equation. When they are ready to join the 19th Century, let alone the 21st, they can let us know.


38 posted on 10/08/2006 8:25:24 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Allegra

I am not an expert on this but tribalism is the most basic form of organization known to man. If you look at these areas, typically they are low density , low level socio economic agrarian based systems. They have not yet had a need to evolve away from their "proven" methods of education, capital organization, tecnological advancement, government and government practices such as taxation. Sure you can give backwards people the ability to vote, but without the evolution in infrastructure this "democracy" to our standards will fail. It will tend to regress to what they understand and know. The thing that works for them.

If on the other hand they can see the need and benefits of education and deliver it to the masses, then socio-political advancement can occur. Then the necessary infrastrucrue will develope.

As long as they think tribal- as opposed to "national", they will be in the same rut


39 posted on 10/08/2006 8:25:50 AM PDT by himno hero
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To: Axhandle

There is a Darwinism to ideas. The good idea will invariably push out the bad one, no matter how much the believers in the bad idea fervently pray that it dominate.

Socialism is an excellent example of a Darwinistic loser.

Fortunately, successful systems of organization are pretty rare, and for the time being, we can see most of them coexisting on Earth at the same time.

To begin with is familial organization, never complete chaos. But families soon expand and have to interbreed. From that point on, they must exist in a tribal organization, the lowest order of real organization.

This is because tribes perform the essential role of government, by the definition of Adam Smith, providing for external security and internal order.

However, tribes have structural limitations as to how many members they may have, so you are faced with the need for a multi-tribal authority.

Enter codified legal systems like Sharia law. When they are needed to act as a government of different tribes, they are very useful and very popular. This is because they are so much more efficient than tribal custom.

But this is overcome with urbanization, and the loss of tribal affiliation. Sharia works when your organization is based on tribal leaders meeting in jurga. But when tribes wither away, it is overcome by the best system of government ever devised.

Democracy.

I will note that many of the wiser tribal leaders in Iraq see the superiority of democracy over tribal custom, and even Sharia law. It is so obvious to them, as leaders, that they have expressed a willingness to cede their tribal authority to the democratically elected government.

In doing so, they are doing the best they can for their tribe, because in democracy, they see their tribe benefitting far more in all ways than they as tribal leaders could bring about.

I distictly omitted another phase of organization that happened in the western world, feudalism, because it parallels Sharia law as another system by which diverse tribes can cooperate to mutual advantage. But both feudalism and Sharia law are outmoded; neither have a place in a modern country anymore.

In those few nations that try to have both a secular law and Sharia, it is a disaster, and cannot survive. Because a nation, like a man, cannot have two masters. So either elements of Sharia will become part of that nations secular law, as interpreted by secular judges, or Sharia will fade away.


40 posted on 10/08/2006 8:28:58 AM PDT by Popocatapetl
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To: Axhandle

Another arrogant Liberal "intellectual" who thinks "little brown people" are too stupid to understand the benefits of democracy and freedom.


41 posted on 10/08/2006 8:29:35 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer ("Today we march, tomorrow we vote!" The illegal aliens won't be "staying home" on Nov. 7th.)
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To: himno hero
The tribalists live out in the more remote parts of the desert. More and more people have been populating the cities over the past couple of decades. The people in the cities tend to be fairly educated and they are embracing capitalism. They are starting to disdain the tribalists.

About 66% of the eligible population voted. Most of them did so very enthusiastically.

That's democracy taking hold.

42 posted on 10/08/2006 8:30:45 AM PDT by Allegra (Super Elastic Bubble Plastic!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Another arrogant Liberal "intellectual" who thinks "little brown people" are too stupid to understand the benefits of democracy and freedom.

He'd be surprised (as I admit I was) as to how much the "little brown people" are just like us.

They want the same things we do: To prosper, to raise their families and to live in freedom.

43 posted on 10/08/2006 8:32:54 AM PDT by Allegra (Super Elastic Bubble Plastic!)
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To: Axhandle

This Scottish clansman is here to tell you that this article is a bunch of B.S.!


44 posted on 10/08/2006 8:38:55 AM PDT by CarryaBigStick
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To: Axhandle

There has been democracy in the Middle East in spite of this
history. In the 1950's Lebanon was a democracy and could be now. When the Middle Eastern "man in the street" sees this
freedom existing in a neighboring country it certainly affects him.


45 posted on 10/08/2006 8:40:11 AM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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To: Axhandle

The "tribalism" of Iraq can disappear in a single generation. Liberals will be forced to accept this truth as it unfolds before their eyes.

And then liberals will pretend they were never opposed to it in the first place.

Thank you, President Bush.


46 posted on 10/08/2006 8:41:25 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Leftists will never stand up like men and admit their true beliefs.)
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To: Allegra

obviously what you cite is work in process.

its difficult to impose something on anyone unless they see the reason/benefit. Then they and their systems have to evolve to create the necessary infrastructure to proceed. You can not just catapult tribalists into the 21st century.

maybe you can.... go to the canadian north to meet the "eskimo"


47 posted on 10/08/2006 8:41:47 AM PDT by himno hero
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To: Free Baptist

Ok Ok whatever.
When I see the word democracy in this kind of article I thing freely elected open transparent goverment.
I think you're nitpicking. (and yes i know this will get me flamed, but I'm all growed up and can take it)


48 posted on 10/08/2006 8:45:29 AM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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To: Axhandle
Okay, then let's get revenge for 9-11 and all the other attacks on our country.

Instead of trying to play 'nice' let's just kill the SOBs.

49 posted on 10/08/2006 8:45:38 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
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To: Axhandle
According to this article, democracy shouldn't have happened anywhere then, because tribalism was not limited to the ME.

The reason we do not see democracy in the ME is because Islam destroyed any hopes of it developing there. It stagnated the region and held it back in the 7th century.
50 posted on 10/08/2006 8:48:28 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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