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Old 08-12-2008, 10:01 PM   #61
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It's a pity that we haven't done a better job with this responsibility over the last century.
Yet that century saw the globalization of electoral democracy. Including into postcommunist states like Georgia.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:35 PM   #62
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Yet that century saw the globalization of electoral democracy. Including into postcommunist states like Georgia.
Georgia isn't a great example. Here's a quick history of post-Soviet Georgia:

The first post-communist leader of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was elected in 1990, and formed a referendum for independence in 1991, which won close to 99% of the vote. He was then reelected president in May 1991, but then devolved into a style of government that was perceived as authoritarian, and he was ousted in a violent military coup in December 1991, where he eventually fled to Chechnya and later returned to Georgia, only to instigate a civil war in 1993, drawing on separatist support from Abkhazia. It's kind of ironic, considering one of his acts was to remove South Ossetia's autonomous status, as revenge for voting to reunite with the Soviet Union, instead of staying with Georgia.

His successor, Eduard Shevardnadze, was appointed to power in 1992, following Gamsakhurdia's ouster, and was formally elected in 1995, upon restoration of the office of the presidency. His reelection, however, was condemned by the U.N. and the U.S. as "rigged," and it was estimated by his downfall in 2003 that his inner circle of family members and closest advisers controlled 70% of the Georgian economy.

The current Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been noted for considerably improving corruption issues, although it is still a problem. However, his reelection in 2008 was noted for being questionably riddled with massive fraud, which is still being investigated by outside observers, which has limited effect, since it is not an official government investigation.

In short: sure, we've done a good job of exporting elections, but we haven't done a great job of bringing democracy yet; and while it might take a while to formulate true democratic governments, we also do not do enough to criticize those governments which have made a mockery of electoral democracy. It is not enough to just have elections; minority rights must be respected, and that includes the rights of minority groups, along with political dissidents. Otherwise, we have little more than "democratatorships," which Russia is certainly doing a good job of creating domestically.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:22 PM   #63
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I wonder what kind of spoils Bono has promised George Bush and other G-8 leaders in the past 15 years?
I think Bono is dead on right on the issue of fighting terrorism. I think of how Castro/Che Guevera were quoted after the Alliance for Progress was started under President Kennedy. I believe had the Alliance been carried forth effectively after Kennedy's death the world would have looked quite different for South America. Guevera believed the alliance was stealing the ideals of the communist revolution.

The spoils - less terrorism and a brighter future for everyone.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:49 AM   #64
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I think it's fair to ask why Iraq and not Darfur just as it was fair to ask why Kosovo and not Rwanda in the 90's.

But what "interests are threatened" or what "significant strategic gain" does the United States foresee as we set a goal of sending over 10 billion dollars worth of antiretroviral drugs to Africa or our military personal and equipment along with 2 ex-presidents to the tsunami ravaged areas of Indonesia and Thailand?

Maybe we're just a good nation. Maybe we're exceptionally blessed which makes it our duty to be good. That's what I think anyway. Didn't realize saying it would cause
China is becoming pretty largely involved in parts of Africa, these parts of Africa have a lot of resources, US businesses see new foreign market opportunities, and you have committed to give .7 percent of your GDP in foreign aid. Boasting a GDP of over 12 trillion dollars annually that means quite a bit has to be given to fulfill these promises.

We are all good nations with big interests, the US is no exception there.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:09 AM   #65
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i'm looking forward to McCain trying to play Churchill.

because it's always 1938 and every autocrat is Hitler.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:05 PM   #66
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i'm looking forward to McCain trying to play Churchill.

because it's always 1938 and every autocrat is Hitler.
Im stealing that quote for future use.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:21 PM   #67
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boy, that John McCain seems awfully excited about this. i guess it's great to have a clear, natural country to shake your fist at again.

just imagine the wars we could have!
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:27 PM   #68
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It seems the Russians have broken the cease-fire and are on their way to the capital..
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:45 PM   #69
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boy, that John McCain seems awfully excited about this. i guess it's great to have a clear, natural country to shake your fist at again.

just imagine the wars we could have!

You seem really concerned. What should happen?
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:32 AM   #70
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You seem really concerned. What should happen?


to be honest, i'm not sure what can happen.

we're going to have to negotiate, obviously, and i think everyone condemns Russia's invasion and use of excessive force, but we've got a big problem here. i don't think that Russia in 2008 is the expansionist, utopian Soviet Union of 1958, it's an authoritarian petro-state that has oil and a military, but not much else going for it. it doesn't want to take over the world, and it must be treated for what it is, and not what some wish it were (which is to be more dangerous than it actually is).

this is where it will be important to shut-down the neocons, like McCain. they're starving for a big, bad enemy to demagogue, and Russia just isn't it. it's a neighborhood bully, no question, and needs to be contained through a variety of different pressures and incentives, and we need to realize that we don't have the standing and clout anymore that we once did.

which is too bad. because we're going to need Russian cooperation to deal with Iran and, yes, keep them from fucking with us in Afghanistan. no one wants a proxy war in the Caucuses, and we certainly can't fund one right now. so it appears as if we're going to have to coax Russian aggression along into something less destructive without making the country feel as if we've backed it up against a wall -- you know, what a snarling McCain would love to do -- and hope for the best
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:40 AM   #71
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I thought this thread was about Russia and Georgia? Why has it turned into a discussion about America? Since the United States is only supposed to be sending humanitarian aid.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:43 PM   #72
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correct me if i'm wrong on these basic points:

1) south ossetia has an olverwhelming majority of russian speaking citizens (and passport holders)
2) south ossetia is a breakaway province that the large majority want out of georgia
3) georgia, in a less-than-articulate-description "invaded" their own territory, which while belonging to them in the literal sense (much like greenland is sort of administered by denmark), doesn't really belong to them any longer at least in terms of spirit (oh boy, this is getting muddier by the word).
4) russia then replies by sending in forces to the area, and the fighting between the two sides begins.

while i never accept war as being tolerable, it is a reality, and to look at it straight on, to me it doesn't look like russia is behaving too out of sorts in this particular instance (assuming of course, that I was right with my loose facts). nevermind the atrocities to civilians that each side is claiming that the other are committing...

blech.

what a gross situation.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:30 PM   #73
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I thought this thread was about Russia and Georgia? Why has it turned into a discussion about America? Since the United States is only supposed to be sending humanitarian aid.
Some here question if there's such a thing as just humanitarian aid. I say there is. That "love your neighbor as yourself" doesn't end at the end of your block or the border of your country.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:24 PM   #74
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to be honest, i'm not sure what can happen.

we're going to have to negotiate, obviously, and i think everyone condemns Russia's invasion and use of excessive force, but we've got a big problem here. i don't think that Russia in 2008 is the expansionist, utopian Soviet Union of 1958, it's an authoritarian petro-state that has oil and a military, but not much else going for it. it doesn't want to take over the world, and it must be treated for what it is, and not what some wish it were (which is to be more dangerous than it actually is).

this is where it will be important to shut-down the neocons, like McCain. they're starving for a big, bad enemy to demagogue, and Russia just isn't it. it's a neighborhood bully, no question, and needs to be contained through a variety of different pressures and incentives, and we need to realize that we don't have the standing and clout anymore that we once did.

which is too bad. because we're going to need Russian cooperation to deal with Iran and, yes, keep them from fucking with us in Afghanistan. no one wants a proxy war in the Caucuses, and we certainly can't fund one right now. so it appears as if we're going to have to coax Russian aggression along into something less destructive without making the country feel as if we've backed it up against a wall -- you know, what a snarling McCain would love to do -- and hope for the best

Exactly right.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:55 PM   #75
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to be honest, i'm not sure what can happen.

we're going to have to negotiate, obviously, and i think everyone condemns Russia's invasion and use of excessive force, but we've got a big problem here. i don't think that Russia in 2008 is the expansionist, utopian Soviet Union of 1958, it's an authoritarian petro-state that has oil and a military, but not much else going for it. it doesn't want to take over the world, and it must be treated for what it is, and not what some wish it were (which is to be more dangerous than it actually is).
Thanks for this part of your answer.
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