Can Democracy Be Forced?

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by newsports, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. newsports
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    newsports Rookie

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/07/international/middleeast/07PREX.html

    Can Democracy Be Forced?

    Many have argued since the lead up into war with Iraq, that the objective for the US in that war torn region of the world has very little to do with freeing the people of those tyrannical regimes for peace sake, but in an effort to further champion the Democratic cause.

    In a search of the American Heritage dictionary is says that Democracy is "1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives." Which would lead one to understand that in order to achive a Democratic governance you "the people" must first achive a Democratic governace.

    Democracy seems to be a state that must be gained "by the people". To be given Democracy is in essence mearly exchanging one ruler for another. In Iraq we do see the budding of a democratic movement but as many have feared the outcome of that movement may not be in the best interest of the Western world.

    The idea that the American government can create, force, or promote a truely democratic nation within Iraq is pure non-sense. A oil rich majority Shiite nation Iraq, living side by side with another oil rich shiite nation Iran, is clearly a recipe for disaster to the western world. The US through its actions before during and since the end of major combat in Iraq attest to the fact that a Shiite dominated Iraq will not be allowed to develop.

    Yet isnt that what democracy is? Allowing the people, in this case a muslim people to make their own choices, to find their own destiny without a over seer over seeing?

    It seems that had communism won out during the cold war Russia would be slowly converting the worlds democracies into communist regimes, "Castro would have been in Central Park watching the execution trials of democratic leaders" (Chris Matthews Hardball). But since Democracy won the US and its allies are force feeding the ideals of Democracy down the throats of the collective world.

    The problem with this is that Democracy cannot be forced, and if it is it is not a democracy. Chalabi one of the 25 Iraqi governing council members clearly was chosen to represent the American interest in his reign as the new Iraqi leader. But the people of Iraq did not accept Chalabi once the US brought him in. That is an example of pure Democracy. "New York Times Blue Print For A Mess"(http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/02/magazine/02IRAQ.html)

    Now the Bush administration is attempting to use the entire hand picked council of former Iraqi exiles as a puppet government ( see Hamid Karizai). They will succeed in creating a new Iraq but without free and open elections from top to bottom they will not have created a democracy but another form of dictatorship.


    "If the people are sufficiently intimidated ,if the popular organizations are sufficiently destroyed, if the people have it beaten into their heads that either they accept the rule of those with the guns or else they live and die in unrelieved misery, then your elections will all come out the way you want." -Noam Chomsky 'Secrets, lies and democracy'


    Can Democracy be forced?
     
  2. spillmind
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    i still argue that if there were at true 'democratically' elected leader, he would be assasinated.
     
  3. NightTrain
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    I've said it a hundred times, it's been done before by the USA & Allies.

    Germany, Japan & Italy.

    Why? What basis do you have for believing this? Surely you aren't insinuating that the Arabs are intellectually incapable of enjoying a democracy...? Or that they can't observe the rule of law?
     
  4. newsports
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    newsports Rookie

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    I dont know for sure but I beleive his argument is that any elected official chosen free of and not later subject to soft money, kick backs , favors of special interest groups , corporate, government, or organizational interest, would not be in the pockets of the controllers thus making him or her a free thinker a independent voice among the borg. A futile effort indeed.

    "Any form of concentrated power doesn't want to be subjected to popular democratic control or, for that matter, to market discipline. Thats why powerful sectors, including coporate wealth are naturally opposed to functioning democracy...."

    -Noam Chomsky "Secrets, Lies, and Democracy"
     
  5. dijetlo
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    >>Germany, Japan & Italy.<<
    We had the advantage of the "Red Menace" to push those people towards us. The choice wasn't US or Self-Rule. It was US or the USSR. (On the bright side, I think they chose wisely.)
     
  6. NightTrain
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    I'll agree that the Soviets were indeed a major factor in the German picture - the vast majority of Germans knew the Soviets were bad news & tried to surrender to the Americans & Brits for fear of retribution by the Russians.

    I'll have to research this, but I don't believe that Italy was influenced at all by the Soviets, that front was wrapped up long before the Soviets were even remotely close.

    Japan certainly had nothing to fear from them. While Russia did declare war on Japan, it was symbolic & was done roughly around the time that they were nuked into submission.
     
  7. dijetlo
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    >>Japan certainly had nothing to fear from them.<<
    Russia and Japan are still wrangling over ownership of islands in the sea of Japan. You might also consider in '45 that the USSR block included China. After the atrocities committed by Japan on the chinese during WWII, inclusion in the Soviet block would have meant ansering for those acts.

    >> I don't believe that Italy was influenced at all by the Soviets, that front was wrapped up long before the Soviets were even remotely close. <<
    Italy in 43
    "Italy has laid down her arms. The immediate and unconditional surrender was announced today by General Eisenhower." (September 8, 1943)
    On September 3, 1943, the Allies began their invasion of mainland Italy, and the Italian government of Marshal Pietro Badoglio secretly agreed to surrender to the Allies. Italy's government had recently deposed Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and had no desire to continue a war that the Axis would apparently lose. In order to delay the regrouping of German forces in Italy, public announcement of the capitulation was not made until September 8. By the time Italy completed its volte-face and declared war against Germany on October 13, the Germans had seized control of Rome and most of central and northern Italy.<<
    At the end of the war, the Italians were allies, we didn't occupy them though we did pressure them for de-fascification of their government. I
     
  8. Bry
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    Actually, the record shows that the Japanese tried to surrender to Russia. We nixed that idea by dropping a couple of nukes.
     
  9. dijetlo
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  10. Bry
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    This is what the Encyclopedia Britannica (1959 edition) has to say: "After the fall of Okinawa [on June 21, 1945], [Japanese Prime Minister] Suzuki's main objective was to get Japan out of the war on the best possible terms, though that could not be announced to the general public... Unofficial peace feelers were transmitted through Switzerland and Sweden... Later the Japanese made a formal request to Russia to aid in bringing hostilities to an end."

    The Britannica then completes its coverage by saying that Russia rebuffed the Japanese overtures because it didn't want the war to end before it was scheduled to invade the northern areas occupied by Japan. What the Britannica fails to mention is that these Japanese overtures were known to Washington because the dispatches between Foreign Minister Togo in Tokyo and Japanese Ambassador Sato in Moscow were intercepted by the United States.

    The entire affair is documented in the Hoover Library volume Japan's Decision to Surrender, by Robert J.C. Butlow (Stanford University, 1954). Butlow quotes the dispatch that was received and decoded in Washington on July 13, 1945:"Togo to Sato...Convey His Majesty's strong desire to secure a termination of the war...Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace." These requests continued through July.

    Butlow documents that Washington knew the one "condition" insisted upon by the Japanese government was the continuation of the emperor on his throne and the symbolic recognition this implied of the Japanese home islands as a political entity. As it turned out this was exactly the "condition" that was granted when the peace was finally signed after the A-bombings August 6 and 9.

    If the U.S. government knew as early as July 13 that the leading circles in Japan were seeking peace on those terms, why didn't it pursue this possibility for peace instead of ignoring it and proceeding with the A-bombings? There is simply no satisfactory answer to this question from the point of view of the military demands of ending the war - even on U.S. imperialist terms - and saving soldiers' lives.

    I don't like the source much, it is well referenced. I guess you'll have to try to find the Butlow book. Here's the link:
    http://www.themilitant.com/1995/5929/5929_20.html
     

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