Lawlessness in Iraq

Popeye

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This must be that mean old NY Times making up lies again. I mean, after all, aren't we being told, day after day, about how the surge has made Iraq into a virtual paradise? Maybe Mitt Romney's 3 military age sons and Bush's military age daughters can go vacation there, because they sure as heck aren't going to join the military. Is there such a thing as a chicken hawk gene? Just wondering.
Iraq Slipping To 'New Depths Of Lawlessness'

New York Times | DAMIEN CAVE | December 1, 2007 04:35 PM


Jobless men pay $500 bribes to join the police. Families build houses illegally on government land, carwashes steal water from public pipes and nearly everything the government buys or sells can now be found on the black market.

Painkillers for cancer (from the Ministry of Health) cost $80 for a few capsules; electricity meters (from the Ministry of Electricity) go for $200 each and even third-grade textbooks (stolen from the Ministry of Education) must be bought at bookstores for three times what schools once charged.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/w...97cc2a16518c7b&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
 
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Bunz

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I mean, after all, aren't we being told, day after day, about how the surge has made Iraq into a virtual paradise?
Virtual Paradise...no, but certainly the situation has improved since June concerning security.
If you want Paradise, look north to Alaska:)

I am sure there are plenty examples of bad behavior on the part of Iraqis still. But hell, the existence of a thriving black market is nothing new. Id rather them be shopping for electrical meters from thier uncle than shooting thier neighbor.
 

Jeffrey Neuzil

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The International Monetary Fund, Or the IRS: Underwriting Oligarchy

Do not believe everything you read in the paper; in my opinion, it is far more likey that the President's daughters could safely vaction in Iraq—but most deplorable of all, should they choose to do so, the vacation would be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, and they would probably stay in one of those, now allegedly abandoned, palatial castles, being served by Iraqi slave labor paid for—depressingly, and again,—by U.S. citizens, while the predominant bulk of the U.S. military circles the streets, in mufti, driving around the neighborhoods of U.S. citizens who question the Patriot Act or try to notify U.S. intelligence sources of revolutionary forces that exist in the polity today!
 

Mr. Shaman

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"He was first sent to Baghdad by the Archbishop of Canterbury nine years ago, well before the Christian persecution.

"You were here during Saddam’s reign. And now after. Which was better? Which was worse?" Pelley asked.

"The situation now is clearly worse than under Saddam, White replied."
 

USMC the Almighty

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"He was first sent to Baghdad by the Archbishop of Canterbury nine years ago, well before the Christian persecution.

"You were here during Saddam’s reign. And now after. Which was better? Which was worse?" Pelley asked.

"The situation now is clearly worse than under Saddam, White replied."

What's the point of this, Shaman? If you are just posting this to try to make the U.S. look bad and your buddy Saddam look good, then you have made yourself look unbelievably short-sighted.

Not to get into semantics but what is meant by "worse"? More crime, less stability, etc? These are things that always accompany freedom in the beggining. The liberated and independent U.S. was remarkably more unstable in 1786 then it was under British rule in say 1754 (before the 7 Years War). Creating a free, constitutional republic is always an unstable process and always has growing pains associated with it. It takes time. It wasn't for nearly 25 years that the U.S. even emerged as legitimate country and it wasn't really until 1815 that this country gained legitimacy on an international scale. That's a long ways away from 1783 when the War for Independence ended.

Is your suggestion that Saddam have shaved, given a nice suit, and put back in power? All so that things would be less "worse"? Most of the time, totalitarian and fascist states are more stable because anyone who does anything different or anything to create instability is immediately killed. Instant obedience is the goal.

The best example of this that comes to mind the New York vs. Tokyo police force. Tokyo has a remarkably lower crime rate and a remarkably higher conviction rate for crimes than New York. The reason is because Tokyo police aren't governed by the same concern for civil liberties and individual rights that those in America are. For instance, cops in Tokyo can wiretap any phone without a warrant, set up cameras everywhere, go through people's belongings/homes/cars etc. without any probably cause. Of course if American officers were given the same access they would catch more criminals.

It comes down the fundamental question of whether you would rather live on your knees or live with the potential of dying on your feet.
 

vyo476

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Not to get into semantics but what is meant by "worse"? More crime, less stability, etc? These are things that always accompany freedom in the beggining. The liberated and independent U.S. was remarkably more unstable in 1786 then it was under British rule in say 1754 (before the 7 Years War). Creating a free, constitutional republic is always an unstable process and always has growing pains associated with it. It takes time. It wasn't for nearly 25 years that the U.S. even emerged as legitimate country and it wasn't really until 1815 that this country gained legitimacy on an international scale. That's a long ways away from 1783 when the War for Independence ended.

I'd argue that it took us even longer to achieve international legitimacy but that's moot.

Is your suggestion that Saddam have shaved, given a nice suit, and put back in power? All so that things would be less "worse"?

Nope. There's another thread where I believe I rather stealthily mentioned the name "Santa Anna" but sadly no one picked up on it.

Most of the time, totalitarian and fascist states are more stable because anyone who does anything different or anything to create instability is immediately killed. Instant obedience is the goal.

This is why they are referred to as "police states."

The best example of this that comes to mind the New York vs. Tokyo police force. Tokyo has a remarkably lower crime rate and a remarkably higher conviction rate for crimes than New York. The reason is because Tokyo police aren't governed by the same concern for civil liberties and individual rights that those in America are. For instance, cops in Tokyo can wiretap any phone without a warrant, set up cameras everywhere, go through people's belongings/homes/cars etc. without any probably cause. Of course if American officers were given the same access they would catch more criminals.

An excellent point. You'd make a pretty good sociologist.

It comes down the fundamental question of whether you would rather live on your knees or live with the potential of dying on your feet.

And here comes my problem: I don't remember anyone ever asking the Iraqis that question. The question you're talking about comes back to self-determination, which is a tough one for us, historically.

I mean, after all, didn't we fight a measure of self-determination by subduing the South? Granted, we were fighting slavery, which denied any form of self-determination to the slaves; but still, by invading, defeating, occupying and then re-admitting to the Union the rebel states, weren't we effectively removing their self-determination?

If I had to put my finger on it, our debacles in Vietnam and now in Iraq ideologically go back to the Civil War - where we fought against self-determination but for democracy. Back then, the cause was righteous and good, and above all else we got lucky - Lee told his troops that when the war was over, the war was over, which prevented a ton of guerilla-warfare we might have had to deal with in the occupied South. Anyway, re-admitting the South to the Union wasn't going to be that hard. The institution of democracy already existed there and didn't have to be altered all that much.

Sorry, I just finished Graham Greene's The Quiet American and it got me thinking about the difference between spreading "democracy" and spreading "self-determination."
 

USMC the Almighty

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I'd argue that it took us even longer to achieve international legitimacy but that's moot.

I'm trying to give the kid some notable dates to go off of.

Sorry, I just finished Graham Greene's The Quiet American and it got me thinking about the difference between spreading "democracy" and spreading "self-determination."

You raise some good points, vyo. I remember reading The Quiet American back in high school and even remember what I wrote my essay on -- how the American guy's (what's his name again?) interference with the relationship between the British journalist and Vietnamese native paralleled American interference in Vietnam and colonial Europe. Interesting book. Especially all the Third Force stuff.
 

vyo476

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You raise some good points, vyo. I remember reading The Quiet American back in high school and even remember what I wrote my essay on -- how the American guy's (what's his name again?) interference with the relationship between the British journalist and Vietnamese native paralleled American interference in Vietnam and colonial Europe. Interesting book. Especially all the Third Force stuff.

His name is Alden Pyle. It is a very interesting book - I read it for my War Stories class, which is set to wrap up in a week or two. It'd be a good class if the teacher would only stop throwing his opinions at us as though they were facts.

Here's something else that's interesting - Mr. Bush made reference to The Quiet American in a speech a few months ago.

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2007/08/bushs_quiet_american_reference.html
 

Mr. Shaman

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Conspicuous wasn't it? How he ignored all that you said except a sentence in which he believed he could post a cute quip by way of a response?
Ah, yes....why couldn't I simply ignore....

If you are just posting this to try to make the U.S. look bad and your buddy Saddam look good, then you have made yourself look unbelievably short-sighted.

.....especially when ReRon Reagan & Daddy Bush gave him many-more passes than I ever did?

:rolleyes:
 
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Bunz

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I would ask anyone at this point. What are thier thoughts on how to deal witnh it. Anyone wanting to play armchair Potus?
 
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