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Old 02-17-2006, 10:06 AM   #31
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When faced with a totalitarian regime, perhaps the destabilizations is needed to open up opportunity for democratization. I think it can be done in good faith once we look passed our own political suspisions.


this strikes me as an awfully slipperly slope -- democritization at any cost? might the cost install a democratically elected government that's worse for everyone than the one originally destabilized?
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:11 AM   #32
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A very good question, are 30,000 lives in an invasion and occupation worse than 150,000 under a dictator?
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:11 AM   #33
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this strikes me as an awfully slipperly slope -- democritization at any cost? might the cost install a democratically elected government that's worse for everyone than the one originally destabilized?
Where did the "at any cost" come from? The slippery slope in the other direction permits totalitarian regimes to remain in place.
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:20 AM   #34
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Where did the "at any cost" come from? The slippery slope in the other direction permits totalitarian regimes to remain in place.


see A_W's post above.

the "at any cost" would be a stop on the way down the slippery slope.

to pull way, way back and take a broad view of all of this -- i wonder, what our job is -- do we want to increase democracy, or minimize suffering? i think we can safely say that democracy is not a panacea for human suffering, sometimes far from it, especially given the complex histories of different parts of the world.

while this is a bit of a false choice, let's at least use it as a jumping off point -- what's a better foreign policy aim: the spread of democracy or the reduction of human suffering?
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:29 AM   #35
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Overlooking a key component in this, liberty. The freedom of individual choice matched by protected rights is at the core of a democratic society. Reduction of suffering at the expense of liberty, not unless those liberties were themselves an infringement upon individual rights (for instance taking away the freedom to own a slave). A foreign policy is never pure altruism, it is based on a convergence of interests.

Pure democracy is the mob, directed by the most persuasive leader. That is not going to protect minority rights, that is not going to protect free speech, that is not going to guarantee rights.

I feel that in the absence of liberty you are pitting what is essentially mob rule against a bastard who makes the trains run on time.
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:44 AM   #36
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Overlooking a key component in this, liberty. The freedom of individual choice matched by protected rights is at the core of a democratic society. Reduction of suffering at the expense of liberty, not unless those liberties were themselves an infringement upon individual rights (for instance taking away the freedom to own a slave). A foreign policy is never pure altruism, it is based on a convergence of interests.

Pure democracy is the mob, directed by the most persuasive leader. That is not going to protect minority rights, that is not going to protect free speech, that is not going to guarantee rights.

I feel that in the absence of liberty you are pitting what is essentially mob rule against a bastard who makes the trains run on time.


good point, but it strikes me that you might be conflating democracy with liberal "western" values, particularly as it pertains to minority rights -- and if the policy is aggressive democratization, might we be opening up many countries to, essentially, mob rule with maximum liberty for some and none for others -- looking at the histories of many nations, it strikes me that notions of liberty for some are not predicated upon the maintenance of liberty for the minority; rather, the definition of liberty for the majority (especially when distinctions of majority or minority are delinated via religion or ethnicity, but more often religion) is predicated upon the denial of liberty for the minority. i.e., Kill the Infidels.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:33 AM   #37
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Muslim World Takes Action to Help Palestinian People

February 21, 2006
zaman.com (Turkish)


The Muslim World is trying to overcome the potential problems expected to be caused by the economic sanctions imposed on Palestine by Israel and certain Western countries because of Hamas' rise to power. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) announced their plans to make institutional and financial donations to the Palestinian Authority.

OIC Term President, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said Monday that he met with various OIC leaders over the issue of sending aid to the Palestinians. "It is ironic that the United States first pushed for democracy and then started to look for excuses not to recognize the election results and to stop the flow of money to the new government led by Hamas," Badawi said. "This will only worsen the situation...Why do they resort to a policy that will result in no good?"

The demands of the Palestinian people must be recognized and they must be given a chance to live in peace, Badawi added. He believes Hamas will establish a government that can bear the responsibility. Badawi revealed that he wrote letters to Hamas leaders and asked them to take advantage of the situation, and to follow and remain loyal to the peace process. According to the Malaysian prime minister, a clash will happen only if Hamas is provoked. "You know how they will fight. There will be no end to this," Badawi said.
However, he gave no details about the OIC's plan for aid.

Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers gathered in Algeria yesterday and discussed plans to send $50 million monthly to the Palestinian Administration. Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, meeting Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal in Tehran yesterday, called on all Muslims to make financial donations for the Palestinians, while Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood announced the launch of a worldwide relief drive for the Hamas administration.

Ismail Haniya, the official prime minister announced by Hamas on Sunday, in a statement to the BBC, dismissed the possible effects of economic sanctions on the Palestinian administration by Israel and said Palestinians have other alternatives. If Western countries cut their aid, Haniya said, Arab and Muslim countries will provide funds: "There are Arab and Muslim countries and other members of the international community ready to help the Palestinian people."

He repeated they will not lay down arms and recognize Israel. Haniya said he is deeply saddened by Israel terming Hamas a "terrorist organization" and about the restriction of foreign donations. "The West always uses its financial aid as a way to pressure the Palestinian people," he expressed.
So, perhaps the carrot-and-stick approach can also backfire? Is there enough political unity in the Muslim world that the West can no longer rely on sanctions and diplomatic isolation to encourage reform? This makes it sound like one man's inducement is another man's provocation. Are we serving the best longterm interests of peace if we take diplomatic actions widely regarded as provocative?
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:31 AM   #38
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The title to the article raises a simple question - why hasn't the Muslim world (especially, the wealthy Gulf area countries) done more for the Palestinians all along?
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:39 AM   #39
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Well, unity under perceived shared threat is a powerful thing. It's true that other Muslim countries, particularly other Arab countries, have often been guilty of talking out of both sides of their mouth where Palestinians are concerned, but on the other hand, international Muslim grievance over perceived Western disregard for Muslim political entities' right to conduct their affairs as they see fit does seem to be at an all-time high right now.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:29 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The title to the article raises a simple question - why hasn't the Muslim world (especially, the wealthy Gulf area countries) done more for the Palestinians all along?
Since Arafat allied himself with Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War the oil states wanted little to do with him. Plus it's always better to leave the Palestinians on the burner and keeping them in a tough position because it guarantees that you can direct your populations hatred to Jews and the "Zionist Entity" rather than your own corrupt house.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:42 PM   #41
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depends what you mean by best.

russia's too big for democracy, and they'll never really experience it.
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