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Old 06-30-2004, 08:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
After much deliberation......I am still undecided but leaning yes.

What he said.

In general I agree with Bush on more issues but I am still looking through things. I will not be voting for Kerry, but I'm still not sure if I'll vote Bush, Nader, or not at all.


However, I think going into Iraq was a bad thing and a waste of lives. Afghanistan, yes, Iraq, no. We should have gone all the way to Baghdad in '91. I remember the soldiers on TV going "if we don't do it now we'll be back in 10 years to do it, it's got to be done, might as well do it now" But old man Bush (a good man I do admire a lot more than his son) was wrongfully advised by the Saudis not to, and to stop encouraging uprisings among the Shiites and Kurds (which the US had been doing) because the Saudis felt they could deal better with a Sunni secularist than whatever Ayatollah type would come to power in Iraq. Never trust the Saudis!
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:07 PM   #17
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I'm not a huge fan of Bush, but if there's nothing significant about Kerry that impresses me (so far...nothing), I will vote for him as a Republican.
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:37 PM   #18
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Yes.
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
However, I think going into Iraq was a bad thing and a waste of lives. Afghanistan, yes, Iraq, no. We should have gone all the way to Baghdad in '91. I remember the soldiers on TV going "if we don't do it now we'll be back in 10 years to do it, it's got to be done, might as well do it now" But old man Bush (a good man I do admire a lot more than his son) was wrongfully advised by the Saudis not to, and to stop encouraging uprisings among the Shiites and Kurds (which the US had been doing) because the Saudis felt they could deal better with a Sunni secularist than whatever Ayatollah type would come to power in Iraq. Never trust the Saudis!
Suppose the Iraqis do end up with an Ayatollah in charge? The new leader, Allawi (not sure I spelled that properly) is a Shia Muslim who has the support of Iraq's most powerful cleric, the Ayatollah Sistani. Now, Sistani is no Khoumini. He's alot more moderate. But I wouldn't be surprised if some Shia Muslims made a push for another Shia state (Iran is a Shia state, currently the only Shia Muslim state on the planet). That might not be so great.
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:42 PM   #20
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No it won't be good at all. And as bad as Saddam was, the one plus of his regime was he kept the radical fringe elements out power.
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Old 06-30-2004, 06:36 PM   #21
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Saddam tolerated Wahhabists and Deobandis provided they stayed out of politics. Now they're free to come in and raise all sorts of political hell. If the new leaders don't get a handle on things quickly things could get ugly.
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Saddam tolerated Wahhabists and Deobandis provided they stayed out of politics. Now they're free to come in and raise all sorts of political hell. If the new leaders don't get a handle on things quickly things could get ugly.
Can this situation be handled in a democratic way? Saddam handled it with an iron fist. Is it possible for Wahhabist and/or Deobandis Muslims to peacefully exist in a democratic society?
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:54 AM   #23
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Not when they all consider each other 'infidels.' One thing that is forgotten in all this is that many of these people in many ways are not like people in, well let's just say, other cultures, so there is no way you can apply 'our' rules to them in making a country, or expect them to change overnight.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:04 PM   #24
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Look liberal democracy does not spring up overnight, Iraq is in a fight for its very existence and it will need to curb civil liberties for a few years to come.

Think about Turkey though, you had a nationalist leader who genuinely wanted to reform the nation, he disolved the Caliphate and embarked on a project of secularization and modenisation but Attaturk was still essentially dictator. Freedom and Liberty will flow to Iraq as peoples lives improve and the security situation is stable, when Iraqis have faith in their government (which is possible, there is a genuine will to be involved by most groups) then they will not stand for FOREIGN jihadists fighting their holy war on their soil and killing their civilians. The international community (USA + Coalition of the Willing) has invested too much for it to turn into another despotic regime, change will come slowly but it will come and then 5 years from now we will be able to look at a free and stable Iraq moving into the history books as the First Free Democratic Arab Nation, 20 years from now it may well be seen as the defining battle for hearts and minds in the middle east and the beginning of the end for Islamist terrorism.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:07 PM   #25
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But how can you fight for something a large portion of the population doesn't really want? That spells civil war
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:59 PM   #26
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Which large proportion, the vast majority do genuinely want to get involved and the rest are mostly undecided. They generally want to be part of a unified and stable Iraq, do not underestimate the importance that will have on the long term sucess of the new government.

You have the Shiites in the South who want to have a say in affairs, in all likelyhood they will want Islam to have a place in the New Iraq and that is understandable (however much regrettable) but it will not mean that it will become an Iranian style theocracy. The militias in the South are there because of the absense of a democratic process, the rival factions feel that if they control the neighbourhoods with gangs then they will get a bigger say, this is not going to be the case and I am certain that they will disband as soon as a political outlet can be established and they can get part of the action.

The Kurds in the North demand semi-Autonomy and I think that they will retain that, the problem with the Kurds is that external politics may play into their fate (as far as the US/Turkey relationship) they want a say in the governance of Iraq however I genuinely fear that they will either be overreprested and become seen as a burden by the Sunnis and Shiites or underrepresented and get forced to give up freedoms in the name of a centralized government. Both are real problems that will be overcome but currently the Kurdish region is a blueprint for what Iraq should look like in a decade.

The key problem group is the Sunnis, the vast majority of attacks occur in the Sunni Triangle and that is where you have the most entrenched resistance. There is very little we can do to win them over to our side, these areas are Baathist and they actively support terrorists because of a shared agenda (the removal of US forces). I think the only way to get a positive influence from here is to have a real show of force, prove to them that they lost the war fair and square and the only way to do this is to go into Falluja full strength with marines and clean to town out totally no matter what civilian casualites. If we can show them that the coalition will not capitulate because they are attacked, that the coalition will eliminate every terrorist and that they cannot hide behind civilians and expect to operate then I think it will remove the support that the insurgents and terrorists currently enjoy. This will be bloody and it will be tough but if it is done right then you may well get a unified Iraq.
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Can this situation be handled in a democratic way? Saddam handled it with an iron fist. Is it possible for Wahhabist and/or Deobandis Muslims to peacefully exist in a democratic society?
I'm honestly not sure. Neither Wahhabists nor Deobandis believe in democracy as we know it, they believe in an Islamic state apparatus, complete with Sharia, or Islamic, law as the law of the land. That's why the Wahhabists blew up that Shia mosque. They don't think Shias are "really" Muslim. The Deobandi tradition gave us the Taliban. They're particularly insistent on women not having any rights whatsoever. I wish to hell we didn't have to fool with these people. But we do. Even worse, both these groups are militantly Sunni and have all sorts of bones to pick with Shia Muslims. They could create all sorts of problems in the Shia south. I hope everything is OK, but I'm a little nervous about the current chaotic state of affairs in that country.
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:50 PM   #28
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But is it fair to say that the vast majority of people living within fundamentalist societies such as this are opressed by a leading minority of fanatics, if we kill the fanatics and drastically improve the lives of the masses while at the same time introducing very strong liberal democratic governments that can fight against the Islamists can't we defeat them?

I think that we do not see Islamist ideology take root in stable and open countries, it only has real strength in places where it is seen as a legitimate alternative to the status quo and the only places these are would be warzones or crumbling authoritarian regimes, I guess the point is that if the people are given the choice between the Religious Fanatics and an Elected Government I think that they will choose to elect a government, we must give them the choice.
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:58 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
But is it fair to say that the vast majority of people living within fundamentalist societies such as this are opressed by a leading minority of fanatics,
Oppressed majority?
Capitulating majority?
Or fanatical majority?
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:27 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
But is it fair to say that the vast majority of people living within fundamentalist societies such as this are opressed by a leading minority of fanatics, if we kill the fanatics and drastically improve the lives of the masses while at the same time introducing very strong liberal democratic governments that can fight against the Islamists can't we defeat them?

I think that we do not see Islamist ideology take root in stable and open countries, it only has real strength in places where it is seen as a legitimate alternative to the status quo and the only places these are would be warzones or crumbling authoritarian regimes, I guess the point is that if the people are given the choice between the Religious Fanatics and an Elected Government I think that they will choose to elect a government, we must give them the choice.
The problem with Iraq is that it's not stable by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, the new leaders claim that they may have to postpone elections if the security situation doesn't improve. There is talk of martial law. They could postpone elections to the Greek kalends for all we know. That wouldn't be good. Also, there are disturbing signs in Iraq already that women's rights are being seriously curtailed. All over Iraq, girls are being taken out of school, and the clerics are starting to insist that all women be veiled. Then things could get very nasty if some Deobandis or Wahhabists grabbed power in a security vacuum, and forced an Islamic state on Iraq. A Deobandi government would be a Taliban government in Iraq. Yeah, it's a nightmare scenario. But with the situation as highly volatile and unstable as it is now, the future is very, very uncertain, and to me that's scary.
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