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Thread: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

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    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    It's a rare pleasure when I find myself realising I may have been quite wrong, but the success of the provincial elections in Iraq this last week has me reaching for the big spoon along with a hearty slice of humble pie.

    There seems to have been a fundamental shift from the majority of the population towards nationalism and secularist parties. In a country close to implosion over religious fanaticism, that's a huge step away from the abyss.

    The outcome of the election, which will probably be repeated in the parliamentary elections in December, marks a sea-change in Iraqi politics, with both the Shia and Sunni communities punishing the religious parties which flourished after the US occupation in 2003. The results are a clear endorsement of Mr Maliki who has managed to displace the militia of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, negotiated the withdrawal of 142,000 US troops during the next three years and confronted the Kurds. By stressing his nationalist credentials and success in improving security, Mr Maliki has gained the allegiance of the majority Shia community.

    Prime Minister al-Maliki seems to have stepped up quietly into a position of some strength - not only through some courageous decisions (several of which I judged to be premature, like the face-off with al-Sadr, but he's pulled it off) but a clear dedication to a national, secular agenda. I think the commentator has it right - in a Putin-like manner, he is delivering security for most, which is the dearest wish of ordinary Iraqis. Credit is also due to President Bush finally appointing a Defence Secretary and a general who could do the job, and particularly General Petraeus. Even so, I concur that Maliki's hand has been strengthened by the actuality of the US withdrawal and the sudden realisation of the awful alternative which has dawned on people.

    Of course, there is an awfully long way to go: national elections have more at stake, the position of the Kurdish north (excluded from these provincial elections because of fears of separatism) the influence of neighbours, the reality of US forces finally gone and the historical unwillingness in the region for a successful strongman to step down (and the related unwillingness of all those in receipt of his patronage to give it up for an unknown).

    Nonetheless, as one who was convinced that the country would tear itself apart in civil war, and that the earlier this was allowed to happen the better, I am rather pleased to look so wrong. It was absolutely the wrong thing to prosecute the war, but since it happened, the hundreds of thousands killed by its mistakes deserve that their children grow up to live in a secure, reasonably democratic state.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    I heard Gen. Patreaus saying glowing things about the Iraqis during the Superbowl -- it's nice to see a less "official spokesperson" type piece confirming it. Still a long way to go.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    hooray for democracy!
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    I supported the war because i saw a successful outcome, but i admit it came awfully close to the brink of chaos and iraq isn't out of the woods yet. congrats to iraq.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 02-05-2009 at 21:24.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    I read somewhere that a lot of Sunnis were still boycotting the process, which is a shame if true. They really need to get engaged.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    I read somewhere that a lot of Sunnis were still boycotting the process, which is a shame if true. They really need to get engaged.
    Here's a link to the alledged fraud. The relative non-violence was definitely encouraging. Let's hope that this positive sign are a harbinger of better days for the Iraqi people.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    It's what I've said all along. There was no need for an invasion, we should've supported a revolution. It would've succeeded. Saddam was weak.

    North Korea is the place we should invade....
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Encouraging start, particularly the bit about everyone not shooting each other up over their differences. Hope it continues.
    It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then, the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

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    Friend of Lady Luck Member Mooks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    It's what I've said all along. There was no need for an invasion, we should've supported a revolution. It would've succeeded. Saddam was weak.

    North Korea is the place we should invade....
    Saddam was not "weak". He was a iron fisted dictator that was able to hold on to his country and keep it more stable then we ever will for many years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooks View Post
    Saddam was not "weak". He was a iron fisted dictator that was able to hold on to his country and keep it more stable then we ever will for many years.
    Saddam was dying. And no, he was not able to pacify his entire country.

    He was a starving iron fist dictator desperatly trying to avoid the inevitable. His military was rusting, his economy in ruins. His lying advisor's kept him from seeing the reality of the situation, he was living in a bubble. A revolution, funded and supported by the rest of the world would've broken him. In the invasion, Saddam's forces collapsed almost immediately, and so did his infrastructure. What we're fighting now are the very forces who would've brought him down in a revolution.

    In the first half of his reign, you would've been correct, a revolution would've failed. After the nineties, there was barely any Saddam left, his country was upheld by old habits, not his control.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    It's what I've said all along. There was no need for an invasion, we should've supported a revolution. It would've succeeded. Saddam was weak.

    North Korea is the place we should invade....
    Oh come on.

    Who is we? It is certainly not you.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    Oh come on.

    Who is we? It is certainly not you.
    Actually, I still have 23 years left until I'm permanently retired as a soldier, so in theory, yes, it is.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 02-06-2009 at 15:35.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    The main problem i have with your saddam overthrow idea is that after we abandoned them in the first gulf war why would they take the chance and rebel again, Saddam slammed his iron fist down and we never helped them, why should they have trusted us ?
    Last edited by LittleGrizzly; 02-06-2009 at 15:39.
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    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Actually, I still have 23 years left until I'm permanently retired as a soldier, so in theory, yes, it is.
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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Actually, I still have 23 years left until I'm permanently retired as a soldier, so in theory, yes, it is.
    Theory? Well everything is fine then. I'm glad you've become a Neoconservative and will join our efforts at nation-building and spreading Western values.

    I'm also glad your military service has given you the opinion that it's only acceptable to support the wars you think are right. The time for open warfare in Korea is over. I don't care how strong their nuclear deterrent is, the still have the technology and the means to deliver it. The humanatarian suffering in Iraq would be nothing compared to that in Korea.

    Let's finish up the jobs in the desert and mountains before we go raiding the coast again.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Maniac From Mars
    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
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    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    Theory? Well everything is fine then. I'm glad you've become a Neoconservative and will join our efforts at nation-building and spreading Western values.

    I'm also glad your military service has given you the opinion that it's only acceptable to support the wars you think are right. The time for open warfare in Korea is over. I don't care how strong their nuclear deterrent is, the still have the technology and the means to deliver it. The humanatarian suffering in Iraq would be nothing compared to that in Korea.

    Let's finish up the jobs in the desert and mountains before we go raiding the coast again.
    Wait. Didn't Bush invade Iraq because of nukes? Doesn't N. Korea have nukes?

    The only problem with such a war would be S. Korea. Cause Japan is hardly hittable, having one of the best NMD's in the world. It would be a long while before a missile flew across the Pacific to the USA without interception. Problem is S. Korea which would be the only viable target, and the capital would be crushed without the need for any nuclear weaponry. It is in range of N.Korea's artillery, which would level the capital upon the declaration of war. So, N. Korea really can't do much with the nukes except threaten the USA and gain leverage for international deals.
    BLARGH!

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    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    I'm also glad your military service has given you the opinion that it's only acceptable to support the wars you think are right.

    So are you saying HoreTore should support all wars regardless of whether he thinks they are right or not ?

    Wait. Didn't Bush invade Iraq because of nukes?

    No, Weapons of Mass Destuction, a wide ranging title that includes plenty of things you certainly wouldn't think of as mass destruction, they certaintly hinted at a nuke to the public though, far too smart to come out and say saddam has nukes... far easier to subconcuisly slip it into the public's mind...

    The only problem with such a war would be S. Korea. Cause Japan is hardly hittable, having one of the best NMD's in the world. It would be a long while before a missile flew across the Pacific to the USA without interception. Problem is S. Korea which would be the only viable target, and the capital would be crushed without the need for any nuclear weaponry. It is in range of N.Korea's artillery, which would level the capital upon the declaration of war. So, N. Korea really can't do much with the nukes except threaten the USA and gain leverage for international deals.


    I don't think Japan has the ability to defend against nuclear missles... US missle defence shield is not yet fully operational i think...?

    I think the nukes give them the ability to have something in reserve after levelling seoul, once you use nuclear weapons there is no turning back, even a pyhsco like kim nows thats...
    Last edited by LittleGrizzly; 02-06-2009 at 16:01.
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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolt View Post
    Wait. Didn't Bush invade Iraq because of nukes? Doesn't N. Korea have nukes?

    The only problem with such a war would be S. Korea. Cause Japan is hardly hittable, having one of the best NMD's in the world. It would be a long while before a missile flew across the Pacific to the USA without interception. Problem is S. Korea which would be the only viable target, and the capital would be crushed without the need for any nuclear weaponry. It is in range of N.Korea's artillery, which would level the capital upon the declaration of war. So, N. Korea really can't do much with the nukes except threaten the USA and gain leverage for international deals.
    No. However, Desert Storm revealed an advanced and robust nuclear weapons program and Israel bombed a previous reactor. It's clear he wanted to develop them.

    North Korea has demonstrated the ability to strike both Japan and South Korea with a ballistic missile. They also are a (minor) nuclear power. Put the two together and you have loads of fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleGrizzly View Post
    So are you saying HoreTore should support all wars regardless of whether he thinks they are right or not?
    Is this a rhetorical question? Of course I don't think anyone should support all or any war. None of us here get to choose which ones we want to start. However, one should stick with their friends and allies in any fight and not want to start another one while complaining we didn't finish the job in the first one. Anyway, chances are that if we go to war in the first place it means that we've already lost several battles along the way.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    North Korea has demonstrated the ability to strike both Japan and South Korea with a ballistic missile. They also are a (minor) nuclear power. Put the two together and you have loads of fun.
    So what you're saying is that the US army is too weak and incompetent to even deal with an impoverished nation led by a rabid lunatic?
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    So what you're saying is that the US army is too weak and incompetent to even deal with an impoverished nation led by a rabid lunatic?
    Why do you hate freedom?


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Maniac From Mars
    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
    Ik hou van ferme grieten en dikke pinten
    Down with dried flowers!
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    This comment is witty! Senior Member LittleGrizzly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    It's clear he wanted to develop them.

    As does any tinpot dictator, what is also clear is that he was nowhere near developing such weapons...

    Is this a rhetorical question? Of course I don't think anyone should support all or any war. None of us here get to choose which ones we want to start. However, one should stick with their friends and allies in any fight and not want to start another one while complaining we didn't finish the job in the first one.

    The wording onfused me, i agree somewhat with your assessment though, we broke it... we fix it...
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    Why do you hate freedom?
    They tell me it's because I'm a dirty freedom-hating, baby-eating commie-terrorist....
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

  23. #23
    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    No. However, Desert Storm revealed an advanced and robust nuclear weapons program and Israel bombed a previous reactor. It's clear he wanted to develop them.
    True. But then again, Saddam had never said he had a nuke, nor did the UN Nuclear inspectors ever given the warning about he having anything closely related to a nuclear weapon. Korea on the other hand HAS WMD's, and is blatantly hostile to the USA, something that Iraq was not. It's people, when overcome, will join South Korea without any questions, and a threat to the world would be removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    North Korea has demonstrated the ability to strike both Japan and South Korea with a ballistic missile. They also are a (minor) nuclear power. Put the two together and you have loads of fun.
    There's the ability and the ability. They do have the ability of nuking Japan. But don't have the ability to nuke Japan since their nuke will be spotted by satelites, transmitted to the Japanese NMD, which will send an intercept missile to destroy it over the sea of Japan. South Korea is another story. One uncertain thing is how the North Korean army would react. Anything would be possible from fanatical defence of an impoverished nation which will go nowhere, making the war last some months, to deserting, along with the civillian population to the South Korean side, ending the war in a few days.
    BLARGH!

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    So what you're saying is that the US army is too weak and incompetent to even deal with an impoverished nation led by a rabid lunatic?
    The people of Seoul might not like us declaring war on the north. Do you know how much artillery he's got pointed at their city?

    And it seems NKorea is more likely to use getting nukes as a bargaining chip for more aid, instead of handing them out to Islamic extremists.

    And even assuming Saddam could be toppled by rebellion, what do you think would happen afterwards? Maybe a sectarian civil war, but with no US around to stop it?

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    The people of Seoul might not like us declaring war on the north. Do you know how much artillery he's got pointed at their city?
    So you do believe that the US army is too weak and incompetent to launch a successful war against a small impoverished third-world nation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    And it seems NKorea is more likely to use getting nukes as a bargaining chip for more aid, instead of handing them out to Islamic extremists.
    You still believe Saddam vaxed OBL's backside every thursday night after supper, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    And even assuming Saddam could be toppled by rebellion, what do you think would happen afterwards? Maybe a sectarian civil war, but with no US around to stop it?
    How many gazillions have you spent on the war by now? With that kind of money, you could've bought Saddam 10 times and still buy a third Hummer.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazed Rabbit View Post
    And even assuming Saddam could be toppled by rebellion, what do you think would happen afterwards? Maybe a sectarian civil war, but with no US around to stop it?
    Um, the sectarian civil war happened anyway, even with our troops around to stop it.

    That said, I don't believe Iraqis would have overthrown Saddam anytime soon. These creaky petro-dictatorships are surprisingly hardy.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    That said, I don't believe Iraqis would have overthrown Saddam anytime soon. These creaky petro-dictatorships are surprisingly hardy.
    Concur. The two brothers weren't the strongman their father was, but they'd have kept the lid on for quite a while longer using a sort of Doug and Dinsdale Piranha teamwork effort. Besides, after the rising in 1991 to which the USA provided support in the form of a hearty "Good luck!" much of the opposition was understandably reluctant to tangle with the Saddamists. Absent Gulf II, they would have had to assume that the USA and the rest would not support them.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    That said, I don't believe Iraqis would have overthrown Saddam anytime soon. These creaky petro-dictatorships are surprisingly hardy.
    It's amazing what money can buy you. Especially trillions of dollars.

    But yeah, the US did screw up big time after the first war. But there was more than just a tiny spark that allowed that rebellion to take place. So what could've been done, was:

    1. Befriend the opposition. Make them trust you. That, of course, means that you have to be sincere, without any plans for personal gain.
    2. Throw buckets of money at them, to arm them and allow them to spread propaganda, etc etc. The usual stuff.
    3. When things blow up, offer them any help they ask for.

    The biggest deterrent to an Iraqi revolution wasn't a strong Saddam, he was a kitten as far as dictators go in his later years. The biggest problem was that the trust the opposition had in the rest of the world was blown after the first war. But that's certainly no impossible obstacle.

    EDIT: Gah, have you all lost your faith in the potency of democracy and freedom? Why do you doubt peoples willingness to fight for it?

    Saddam was a Louis XVI without the foreign support. And we all know what happened to him, don't we?
    Last edited by HoreTore; 02-06-2009 at 21:38.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    So you do believe that the US army is too weak and incompetent to launch a successful war against a small impoverished third-world nation?
    You, sir, deserve an award for missing the point. We could crush Nkorea, but in the first few minutes of the war they'd rain a huge amount of artillery (and maybe a nuke) on Seoul.

    You still believe Saddam vaxed OBL's backside every thursday night after supper, eh?
    Again with a pathetic strawman. Are you saying Saddam was not more likely to give out WMDs to terrorists (this is in view of the opinions people had before the start of the war in 2003, that he actually had WMDs)?

    How many gazillions have you spent on the war by now? With that kind of money, you could've bought Saddam 10 times and still buy a third Hummer.
    Buy him off? Support him and his cruel regime? Aren't lefties always complaining about us doing that? Don't they generally point to the deals we made in the 1980s with Iraq as some sort of great 'gotcha' moment?

    Um, the sectarian civil war happened anyway, even with our troops around to stop it.
    Yes, my point was, unlike in Horetore's surreal world, the US was around to eventually stop it. What if we hadn't been there?

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

  30. #30
    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iraq's provincial elections looking promising

    HoreTore, I am deeply surprised by your arguments in this thread. Let me therefore take them on face value (rather than on my suspicion you are playing Devil's Advocate).

    I am sure you understand that the kind of regime change you propose violates international law as surely as a tank-driven invasion. However repulsive the regime, it is up to the people of that state to change their destiny - not well-meaning do-gooders or greedy imperialists. Real freedom only arises in a people that has gained it themselves.

    The kind of meddling you propose has a long history - and had been a favoured tactic of the United States before the neo-cons decided that the tank option seemed more honest and quick. The method's record is not exactly stellar - and indeed, Saddam Hussein was one of its most outstanding alumni before Kuwait. The "revolutions" you advocate, being driven from outside, have outside interests as their goal, not the freedom of the people to choose their own government - a choice invariably posing a threat to the vested interests because the people rarely read the script. Thus, a convenient dictator, willing to do the bidding of the sponsor state in exchange for shiny military vehicles, a Gilbert and Sullivan uniform and assorted gold-encrusted palaces, is thereby enthroned.

    Thus those who propose enforced regime change to uphold human rights invariably find themselves with a significantly worse result.

    Of course, the real challenge is the argument as to whether sanctions and other non-violent interventions may also fall into this category. But that's a different thread.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
    Albert Camus "Noces"

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