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Posted: 12/20/2003 7:54:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 7:57:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2003 7:57:38 AM EDT by photoman]
No. For one reason, they are to "tribal" for lack of a better term. Much like Africa.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:10:12 AM EDT
It would seem to me that democracy, or some sham that claims to be democracy, can't really be forced on people. The inability of any of our leaders to truly understand the arab world is how we keep winding up in all these messes, and how the messes keep dragging us down. The question becomes, now that we have gotten involved so totally in Iraq, what SHOULD be done in terms of the govt. we leave behind when we go?
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:15:52 AM EDT
Agree with [b]photoman[/b] for much the same reason. In the parts of thw Arab world that I've been to, the people do not want to be leaders - they want to be led. All the people, and I mean the 95th percentile average peasants, want is something to do during the day, somewhere to raise their family, and something to eat, and not be hassled. They have no real interest in the aspirations of the body politic, generally speaking. In Egypt, for instance, the people wouldn't know what to do with democracy if they had it. If they were to elect a representative government, the would elect a government that would exercise its power in order to regulate the lives of the people. That is their sense of order - having a central authority from which all direction is decreed. In Cairo, there are large segments of the population that long for the days of Gamal Nasser being a Soviet puppet. Everything was provided for, and the Cairenes, anyway, felt that they enjoyed a certain "progressive" lifestyle. Although my experience is not wholly in line with his findings, inasmuch as my Arab experiences are several decades removed from his, I think Raphael Patai generally captures the Arab culture well in his book, "The Arab Mind." Palestinians hate this book, which is recommendation enough.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:23:49 AM EDT
The problem isn't with the religion or the political system. Democracy and/or republics don't depend on certain religions to work. Islam, as far as I've studied it, isn't ideologically opposed to democracy. So in theory it should/would work. The problem, as almost every poster has brought up is the tribalism. Perhaps the best thing for the Middle East is to break up the borders as determined by some minister in Great Britian and form their own countries.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:37:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dport: The problem isn't with the religion or the political system. Democracy and/or republics don't depend on certain religions to work. Islam, as far as I've studied it, isn't ideologically opposed to democracy. So in theory it should/would work.
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This is precisely true. It is not the case that representative democracy will not work for Muslims, it's that it will not work for Arabs. Big difference.
The problem, as almost every poster has brought up is the tribalism. Perhaps the best thing for the Middle East is to break up the borders as determined by some minister in Great Britian and form their own countries.
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The very nature of these tribes is that they are nomadic. They do not comprehend the abstract concept of imaginary borders. The Hashemites, for example, rule the land that they occupy at the present. If they choose to move 500 miles to the south, then that is where their kingdom is. The sense of "rule" is applied more to the people that are subservient to the rulers than any discreet, yet arbirary, geographic boundary. It was the same thing with the native North American people. It didn't make one bit of sense at all to say, "OK. Sioux over here, Iriquois over there, SAc and Fox up there, Cherokee down there, Hopi over here ..." The only advantage of borders is to define jurisdiction among potentially overlapping regulation, which is pointless for disparate cultures. The Semetic people will always infight.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:48:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dport: The problem isn't with the religion or the political system. Democracy and/or republics don't depend on certain religions to work. Islam, as far as I've studied it, isn't ideologically opposed to democracy. So in theory it should/would work. The problem, as almost every poster has brought up is the tribalism. Perhaps the best thing for the Middle East is to break up the borders as determined by some minister in Great Britian and form their own countries.
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Ah, I very much beg to differ. It is not tribalism which stops them from accepting democracy, nor is it some curious aspect of their culture. It has always been, and will always be religion which stops democracy. The very core of islam IS intolerance and unwillingness to share power. Without islam there can be democracy EVEN amoung Arabs. With islam there can NEVER be democracy there. Maybe we have been reading separate books. I have studied the koran well since 9-11 in an effort to understand what we are up against. Scary book...scary people who follow it. NMSight
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:53:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DzlBenz: The very nature of these tribes is that they are nomadic. They do not comprehend the abstract concept of imaginary borders. The Hashemites, for example, rule the land that they occupy at the present. If they choose to move 500 miles to the south, then that is where their kingdom is. The sense of "rule" is applied more to the people that are subservient to the rulers than any discreet, yet arbirary, geographic boundary. It was the same thing with the native North American people. It didn't make one bit of sense at all to say, "OK. Sioux over here, Iriquois over there, SAc and Fox up there, Cherokee down there, Hopi over here ..." The only advantage of borders is to define jurisdiction among potentially overlapping regulation, which is pointless for disparate cultures. The Semetic people will always infight.
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I agree. However, the reason the tribes are nomadic is there was nothing of value for them to be tied to one area. Oil changes all of that.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 9:38:07 AM EDT
The only country in that region that is close to a democracy is Iran. Under the shah they were exposed western influence, and since the religious revolution (de-evolution) the people have elected the best at what they could call a balanced government. Their president is still an old school religious radical, but their congress is much more moderate and progressive. Slowly the old hard-liners have been dying off and MTV/internet generation have been pushing for more freedom.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 10:25:47 AM EDT
Democracy can't work in the Arab world, as it is totally foreign to the way they work and think! A news talk show host described it best a number of months ago, and after hearing that I started to reflect on my own experiences and observations (more later). He said that the Arab culture is for their religious leaders to run the government and tell the people what to do/say, etc. He claimed that that is what they are used to for some 5000 years and what they prefer! As for my own experiences: - I live in a MA town that has a very high percentage of Jewish people (I am one of them) AND a high percentage of Muslims (we have two Mosques in town). - We also have an "open town meeting" where any registered voter is entitled to attend, speak and vote on how the town spends its money. I have attended almost every night of Town Meeting for the past 29 years (avg 5-6 nights/year). - I almost never see a known/noticeable Muslim/Arab person at Town Meeting (most attendees are "regulars" so we get to know each other by sight)! I know some of this segment of our population and I speak with them regularly (they are local store owners), but they have no interest in town government, don't speak up on any issues, even if the issue might affect their businesses, etc. - Iatolla Khomeini , Saddam Hussein, etc. became their own "religions" (or interpretation of same) in their countries, most often forbidding the practice of any other religion, dictating practices (jihads, etc.) as being "religious requirements", etc. Their people acquiesce to their demands and try to live a "normal" life under such dictatorships. There is little to no outcry for freedom or overthrow of oppressors from within these countries. - BTW, it's worth noting that very few Jews attend our Town Meeting either. They have no interest in being part of the process of making decisions, HOWEVER they all have very strong opinions on what should be done (as long as it is done by others!) and voice those opinions freely in letters to the editor and "street corner discussions". [SO the difference I see is that the Arabs neither participate nor take strong positions on what is happening around them, while the American Jews (Israeli Jews are very different type of people) don't participate but most often object to what others are doing. Neither want to get involved in making things happen the way they would like to see the results.] So, a democracy is not a "solution" to all government problems! It will work in some places, because the people want to see it work. While it doesn't stand a chance in places where the culture is such that the people are not going to get involved in "making it happen"! That's my 2-cents on this topic! [:)]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 10:38:27 AM EDT
Hey Hun, you forgot this in the chatroom! [img]http://www.mountaintop.org/ar/forums/israelflag.gif[/img] [;D]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 10:51:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By photoman: No. For one reason, they are to "tribal" for lack of a better term. Much like Africa.
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[b]BINGO[/b]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 10:52:09 AM EDT
nope, they are all friggin savages. they were savages 100 years ago, savages 2years ago, today, tomorrow, 1 year from know, and will be savages a 1000 years from now...unless of course they don't exist a 1000 years from now.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:07:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:37:55 AM EDT
It's possible with the condition that its leaders and their spiritual leaders in the mosques/schools preach it to kids now and unborned generations to come. It will take time.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:57:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: [b]The best they can hope for in Iraq is not a representative government, but rather an [u]unrepresentative[/u] government with no aspirations to terrorize the world in the name of Islam.[/b]
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That's good enough.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:59:22 AM EDT
I think it is certainly possible in the more stable (less unstable) and liberal Arab countries (ex.Morocco), but for the conservative Muslim countries like Afghanistan there is no way- NO WAY!
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 1:44:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2003 1:45:27 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
They had better learn real fast. Trying to democratize them is the only workable alternative to the genocide of the entire Arab race, and perhaps of the whole Islamic world. Since we have spent the last 60 years teaching ourselves, and the whole Western world, that genocide is a act of pure evil and a crime against all humanity, its difficult to suddenly reverse oneself. Particularly when much of the Western world other than the US refuses to perceve a threat to their existance, only to their pocketbooks.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 1:49:13 PM EDT
No. No country can survive as a Democracy. You must be talking about a Republic. Oh, and by the way, few Arab/Muslim countries can be Republics. It goes against their culture and religion.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:09:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin: No. No country can survive as a Democracy. You must be talking about a Republic. Oh, and by the way, few Arab/Muslim countries can be Republics. It goes against their culture and religion.
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A democracy is a cancer that feeds in it's self. I forgot who told me that, but it damn sure wasn't a Dead Kennedy's lyric. -HS -HS
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:45:18 PM EDT
No I don't believe that they can have a democracy based government even a republic which is democracy based. Their relgion is contrary to any form of government short of a dictatorship or religion based dictatorship. It's that simple. Tj
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 2:54:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson: No I don't believe that they can have a democracy based government even a republic which is democracy based. Their relgion is contrary to any form of government short of a dictatorship or religion based dictatorship. It's that simple. Tj
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Then we are resigned then to eventually having to kill them, after we go through the motions of looking like we went out of the way to avoid that necessity?
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 3:01:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Originally Posted By TomJefferson: No I don't believe that they can have a democracy based government even a republic which is democracy based. Their relgion is contrary to any form of government short of a dictatorship or religion based dictatorship. It's that simple. Tj
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Then we are resigned then to eventually having to kill them, after we go through the motions of looking like we went out of the way to avoid that necessity?
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Sadly, I must agree with TJ, and you may have an idea there. Sorry ETH.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 7:47:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2003 7:48:52 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
In actual fact, the average Arab is no more capable of becoming a democrat than the pope is capable of becoming an atheist. It is a matter of character and collective personality structure, molded over hundreds of years. Contributing to the formation of this personality are tradition, education and a great deal of religious belief and fanaticism. Most Arabs look for an authority figure to lead them, give them orders, to tell them what to do and when to do it.
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God DAMN that sounds racist. "a matter of character" - yeah, those poor pathetic arabs are just incapable of understanding our glorious ideal. I don't hold out a whole lot of hope for democracy in the arab world anytime soon - but a lot of the rationalization in that articles seems to me to just go a little bit to far in terms of attributing the problem to inherent shortcomings in the people. I would think Israelis of all people would be wary of labeling an entire people as inferior. This Matti guy is just a little to judgmental to my taste.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:25:38 PM EDT
[url]http://www.nationalreview.com/15oct01/pj101501.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:26:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2003 8:28:16 PM EDT by Who_Me]
An Arab Moment of Truth Which way the Islamist fantasy? By David Pryce-Jones From the October 15, 2001, issue of National Review The conflict that has now erupted has been gathering for a long time. Its roots lie deep in history. To be brief and blunt, the Muslim world has never known exactly how to respond to the West, whether to adopt its values or to reject them. A logic arises: The West is powerful; power is arrogant; we are proud people; therefore we must overpower and humble the West. False as the logic is, it locks in high emotion. It also raises for Muslims an existential question of identity: What sort of people do we think we are? For the past half century and more, the Muslim world has been free and independent, with every opportunity to organize as it wishes. And this is the heart of the issue: The Muslim world is a political and social disaster for all to see. With the arguable exception of Turkey, it consists of a series of despotisms, each with an absolute ruler whose ultimate justification is his strength and will. A family or a clique gathers around the ruler under the protection of the state apparatus of secret police and military repression. To the powerful, the spoils; to the weak, submission. No rights, no freedom of expression, no loyal opposition, no rule of law, no redress except through violence, conspiracy, a coup, and ultimate civil war. Whose fault is this? The huge majority of Muslims understand that they are responsible for themselves. They know what they have to put up with. Describing the daily corruption and injustices of despotism, they ask the aching question, "What can we do?" Muhammad Haikal was once the spokesman of Gamal Abdul Nasser, the ruler who set Egypt back for decades. Haikal was no friend of the West either, but he could write: "The Arab and Muslim world is completely naked. [None of us] can claim any more that he is independent. We have proved we are not modern. We have proved that we are not religious in the real sense of the word. We have proved that we cannot afford democracy." Today Ahmad Bishara, a prominent Kuwaiti, says that Arabs and Muslims "should engage in deep soul-searching" about their institutions and culture. To write like that requires protection at the highest level, as well as personal courage. There are such men, and women too. It is a moving experience to sit in rooms and cafés in Cairo or Beirut, and even Gaza and Ramallah, and listen to their clear and rational analyses of the faults of their society. They are the equivalent of Soviet dissidents in the old days, and if there is hope for the Muslim and Arab world, it lies in their example. Like Soviet dissidents, they are only saying what almost everyone knows to be the truth. For most Muslims have answered the existential question for themselves the way the populations under Soviet rule did: They want what those in the Free World have. Muslims by the millions already live in the West, wherever they can find refuge and opportunity. This in itself defies the doctrine of Islam, whereby Muslims are prohibited from living among unbelievers. Muslim publications abroad make it clear that integration is under way, bringing with it problems — all soluble — concerning dating of non-Muslims, rejection of arranged marriages, correct manners in a multicultural society. The news reaching home countries confirms that life in the West is good. With the news comes money for medicine and education. Jamia'at Ulema-e-Islam is one of the most extreme Islamic movements in Pakistan, and its leader — a ferocious old man with a white beard — is currently summoning the faithful onto the streets to overthrow the government of President Musharraf and launch a holy war. But two of his sons are studying in the United States. He says that they will be better able to understand their enemy. This humbug reveals the inner ambiguity common to his kind. He knows, and we know, that he is supplying them with a brighter future, as any father would.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:27:08 PM EDT
In the first months of 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran. He was a Muslim equivalent of Lenin. He gave a quite different answer to the existential question of Muslim identity. Muslim society was a failure, he concurred with secular critics like Haikal, and one cause of this was the people's abandonment of their faith. Islam had made its believers great and powerful in centuries past, and it would do so again. But there was another overriding cause of the general backsliding. Over the long term, Khomeini held, the West had had the cunning and deliberate intention of destroying Islam. Why the West would have such a wanton and malign ambition he did not explain. But he crystallized a mindset with revolutionary implications: Muslims were not responsible for their plight, it was all the fault of the West, to be rectified by war. So mosques in Iran, and then elsewhere, began to resound with cries that America was the Great Satan, and crowds burned the Stars and Stripes. The emotional logic hardened into a series of syllogisms: Islam is righteous; America is imperialist; therefore unrighteous America is uprooting Islam. Or again: Good Muslims must kill Jews; America helps Jews; therefore America is killing good Muslims. Yet again: America is arrogant; Muslims are proud; therefore suicide bombers are giving America what she deserves. A fantasy is loose in the world, the fantasy of an Islamic supremacy destined deservedly to triumph everywhere. Like Communism before it, this Islamic fantasy aims to impose its vision on others — and call it peace. In an unexpected form, here is another totalitarian movement with the usual murderous belief that the ends justify the means. Latching on to local or regional issues everywhere, Islamic supremacy has been developing its cause: condemning Salman Rushdie to death for supposed apostasy; holding Americans hostage in Teheran; killing Marines in Beirut; sponsoring suicide bombers; threatening pro-Western rulers in Muslim countries with assassination and civil war; preparing for the genocide of Jews in Israel. The false syllogisms of the Islamist mindset have hardened into axioms supporting one outrage after another. As in the old Soviet Union, everything political becomes a metaphor for war and apocalypse. If there is no room for Muslims, the extremists declare with passion, then there is no room for anybody else either. This failure of intellect could hardly be more complete. Except for one thing: The Left throughout the West picks it up and fans it. Demonstrations against President Bush and his response to the suicide attacks have occurred in most major cities of Europe. In the media, even in the United States, people have jumped forward to blame the suicide attacks on America and its policies, rather than on the actual terrorist perpetrators. Here comes Susan Sontag, for example, to sneer that this attack on "the world's self-proclaimed superpower" was as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions." Barbara Foley of Rutgers University believes that America's "fascist foreign policy" over many decades is to blame for the attack. Harold Pinter, playwright of the absurd, writes to the press to say that it is President Bush who is fanning the flames of intolerance. The Taliban exemplify the Islamist fantasy. They are tribalists of a medieval brutality. They forbid women to have an education or a job, and bury a woman suspected of adultery up to her shoulders before stoning her to death. They kill suspected homosexuals by collapsing walls onto them. They have driven millions of desperate fellow Afghans into exile, and leave the remainder to face destitution and starvation. Their honored accomplice is Osama bin Laden, who for the last ten years or so has been telling everyone who can listen that the United States is the source of all wickedness and he intends to destroy it. The Left blamed the United States for the Cold War and the division of Europe, and for unrest in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. Whatever happened, the Soviet Union was innocent and peace-loving. This same Left — in the Sontags and Pinters, these same people — follows an unbroken line in its attitude towards extremists in the Arab and Muslim world. Happy to leave millions at the mercy of Communism, they are happy to leave millions at the mercy of Islamist terror, so lining themselves up as ever on the side of oppression and lies. Their intellectual failure probably does not matter much here, where long exposure has shown that their opinions have foundations in psychopathology rather than reality. But it plays well in extremist circles, where assorted fanatics can now say, Look, the West is wicked, their intellectuals tell us so. In the event of liberation from the general Islamist fantasy and the suicide bombers in particular, most of the Muslim world will feel a grateful relief that can only surprise and shock the Left as much as the joy of those liberated from Communism did. Should America fail to rescue them for whatever reason, though, Muslims will know that the Islamist fantasy is coming true, and they will have to endure it for a very long time to come.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:36:22 PM EDT
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