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Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Democracy

 
 
trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 01:43 pm
Lightwizard wrote:
We can't proselytize democracy unless we have credibility -- it's not like spreading a religion which deals with the incredible. Our giant corporations who are in red ink and who have tried to conceal it by corrupt means is not a good sales pitch, that's for sure.

First, as with Religion, I think we proselytize best by example, not by pushing our beliefs on others.

Second, I wonder what percentage of our corporations you think fit the description you offer above, and what percentage actually fit it. I agree that Enron is no poster-child for capitalism, but then Jeffrey Daumer is no poster-boy for being an American citizen. Now, that some media choose to present Enron as an exemplar of all corporate ethics, is a problem, to my mind.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 01:55 pm
All those CEO's who signed off on their financial statements I suspect aren't getting much sleep these days. They know it's a gamble whether or not an audit would be triggered and the mechanics for this to happen are weak and ill-conceived. It doesn't really matter -- it's the bad publicity that circulates around the world that damages the attempts at PR by the U.S. Your comparison of Enron and Jeffrey Daumer is giving me a good laugh and the rationalization may hold water for you -- it leaks like a sieve for me. Don't strain yourself.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 01:57 pm
BTW -- I don't disagree with promoting by example. It's just that the example should be more impressive and it isn't. For both -- religion or democracy.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 01:58 pm
tres, I still think Enron, WorldCom, etc., are the exception, but unfortunately, they are some of the largest corporations in this world, and that gives it the importance in most people's mind. I also do not believe there will ever be a utopia where everything is perfect for it's society. The reality is we will always have the Enrons and Daubers of this world. c.i.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 02:06 pm
Correct, c.i., and those who think accounting is an exact science are not acquainted with the "artistic" handling of many sets of books. Many corporate accountants could double their salary working for the Cirque de Soleil. There are far more of those than any serial killers and if you think not, there's a bird in Australia who can do a good imitation. This isn't a matter of wishing for a Utopian society, its a matter of minding the store and putting one's best foot forward.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 08:59 pm
Re: Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Democracy
This thread of LW's started off with some really interesting background of Bush's foreign policy and good postings. It is enjoyable to read back and see what we were thinking at certain junctures.

Even in this from early 2003, coutries like Uzbekistan, Egypt and Saudi were mentioned re Bush's promotion of democracy.

Some really historic things are happening re Bush's policy and democracy--so I thought I'd bump up the thread with some current moves on the democracy front.

Lightwizard wrote:
From the Jan/Feb 2003 issue of Foreign Affairs, this article address a crucial part of the Bush Adminstration's foreign policy. It's an essay which is a long read but very well worth the time:

LINK TO ESSAY, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE

Opening paragraph:

SPLIT PERSONALITY

When George W. Bush took office two years ago, few observers expected that promoting democracy around the world would become a major issue in his presidency. During the 2000 presidential campaign Bush and his advisers had made it clear that they favored great-power realism over idealistic notions such as nation building or democracy promotion. And as expected, the incoming Bush team quickly busied itself with casting aside many policies closely associated with President Bill Clinton. Some analysts feared democracy promotion would also get the ax. But September 11 fundamentally altered this picture. Whether, where, and how the United States should promote democracy around the world have become central questions in U.S. policy debates with regard to a host of countries including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and many others.


Iran votes!
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 09:07 pm
Iraqi Government clearing hurdles!!!

Iraqi Shiites, Sunnis Reach Charter Deal

Jun 16, 5:14 PM (ET)

By HAMZA HENDAWI

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - In a political breakthrough, members of a Shiite-dominated committee drafting Iraq's new constitution reached a deal Thursday with Sunni Arab groups concerning their representation on the panel.

The agreement came after weeks of tough talks and just two months before a deadline for completing the new charter. The compromise, which could prove as significant as January's historic elections, was expected to yield a constitution acceptable to all Iraqis, anchoring America's efforts to help transform Iraq into a stable and functioning democracy.

The stalemate had threatened to torpedo Iraq's carefully choreographed political process, which enters its final stretch with two nationwide votes scheduled for later this year. It also heightened sectarian tensions at a time of marked escalation in a two-year insurgency waged by the fringes of the once-powerful Sunni Arab community.

Since Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's government was announced April 28, insurgents have killed nearly 1,100 people. On Thursday, a suicide car bomber slammed into a truck carrying Iraqi policemen near the Baghdad airport, killing at least eight and wounding 25.

The U.S. military also announced that six troops were killed the day before in bombing and shooting attacks in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. At least 1,714 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began in 2003, according to an AP count.

Under Thursday's agreement, announced by two lawmakers involved in the negotiations, 15 Sunni Arabs would join the 55-member committee in a parallel body. That 55-member committee already includes two Sunni Arabs.

That group of 70 would make its decisions through consensus and then send those decisions to the 55 legislators for ratification.

The Sunni Arabs demanded 25 more representatives on the committee, but Shiite and Kurdish legislators would only agree to 13. The compromise gave the Sunni Arabs 17 seats, two more than the 15 held by the Kurds who, like the Sunni Arabs, account for up to 20 percent of Iraq's estimated 26 million people.

Significantly, it also revealed a newfound desire by the Sunni Arabs to rejoin the political fold. Their boycott of the January elections left them with only 17 of parliament's 275 seats. It also highlighted the realistic approach being followed by al-Jaafari's Shiite-dominated government on the question of political inclusion.

(AP) Female members of the Iraqi national assembly chat during a break of the Iraqi National Assembly... (I should have brought this picture. Iraqi women members of the Iraqi National Assembly...<smiles>

"I think the political process is continuing in a good way and it will be even better with the participation of the Sunni Arabs," Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Sunni Kurd, said after the compromise was announced.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 09:11 pm
Sadat for president
TALAAT El-Sadat, Member of Parliament and nephew of late President Anwar El-Sadat, announced his intention of running in the coming presidential elections.

Sadat asserted that his electoral programme will be a continuation of his uncle's achievements, referring to late President Sadat.

Sadat's nomination was meant to give a boost to President Hosni Mubarak's initiative prompting the amendment of Article 76 of the constitution in a way which unprecedentedly allows for multi-candidate presidential elections.

However, Sadat urged the necessity of giving presidential candidates guarantees ensuring equality between them and preventing governmental interference in the electoral process.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2005 09:21 pm
US leader praises Georgia's democracy

POPULAR VISIT: Tens of thousands of Georgians broke through security barricades to pack the square to hear President Bush hail their courage in claiming their liberty

AP , TBILISI, GEORGIA
Wednesday, May 11, 2005,Page 7
US President George W. Bush, before a cheering crowd of tens of thousands of people, said yesterday that the former Soviet republic of Georgia is proving to the world that determined people can rise up and claim their freedom from oppressive rulers.
"Your courage is inspiring democratic reformers and sending a message that echoes across the world: Freedom will be the future of every nation and every people on Earth," Bush said in speech from the Freedom Square that symbolizes the city's democratic pursuits.

"You gathered here armed with nothing but roses and the power of your convictions and you claimed your liberty. and because you acted, Georgia is today both sovereign and free and a beacon of liberty for this region and the world."

In a line that appeared directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bush declined to support the bid of two separatist regions aligned with Moscow to gain independence from Georgia.

"The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia must be respected ... by all nations," he said.

Freedom Square is where hundreds of thousands gathered after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and again last year when the protests ousted Eduard Shevardnadze from office.

Surging crowds broke through police lines at the square ahead of Bush's speech after tiring of elaborate security procedures, raising security concerns.

The buildings around the square were freshly painted for Bush's visit, the first from a U.S. president, and hundreds of people dressed in red, white and blue stood in a human formation of the US flag, with another group forming the red and white Georgian flag.

Bush delivered his open-air speech from a podium surrounded by a high wall of a clear bulletproof screen.

"When Georgians gathered here 16 years ago, this square had a different name," Bush said. "Under Lenin's steely gaze, thousands of Georgians prayed and sang and demanded their independence. The Soviet Army crushed that day of protest, but they could not crust the spirit of the Georgian people."

He hoped the speech would balance his presence a day earlier at a World War II victory celebration in Moscow's Red Square and close his four-nation trip on a high note.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who led the Rose Revolution in 2003 that overthrew a corrupt government, praised Bush as "a leader who has contributed as much to the cause of freedom as any man of our time. ... We welcome a freedom fighter."

"Eighteen months ago the Georgian people stood for liberty in this very place," Saakashvili said. "Today America is true to its word. You stood with us during our revolution and you stand with us today. On behalf of my nation I would like to say, `Thank you.'"

He was elected president in a landslide in January last year after leading mass street protests against a fraudulent election.

Seeking to shed Kremlin domination, the 36-year-old Saakashvili is looking West for help as he tries to remake a nation that gained a reputation under Soviet times and afterward as a poor, corruption-plagued backwater.

Bush encouraged further work to ensure democracy in Georgia.

"In this global struggle for liberty our duties begin at home," Bush said. "While peaceful revolutions can bring down repressive regimes, the real changes, the real challenge is to build up free institutions in their place. This is difficult work and you are undertaking it with dignity and determination."

From the Taipei Times
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2005 07:56 pm
Women in Egypt: We Will Have Democracy! We Won't Go Back!

A great story of will, strength of character and courage. The Democratic spirit sweeps through the Middle East.
0 Replies
 
raymon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2005 04:08 pm
Re: Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Democracy
Lightwizard wrote:
From the Jan/Feb 2003 issue of Foreign Affairs, this article address a crucial part of the Bush Adminstration's foreign policy. It's an essay which is a long read but very well worth the time:

LINK TO ESSAY, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE

Opening paragraph:

SPLIT PERSONALITY

When George W. Bush took office two years ago, few observers expected that promoting democracy around the world would become a major issue in his presidency. During the 2000 presidential campaign Bush and his advisers had made it clear that they favored great-power realism over idealistic notions such as nation building or democracy promotion. And as expected, the incoming Bush team quickly busied itself with casting aside many policies closely associated with President Bill Clinton. Some analysts feared democracy promotion would also get the ax. But September 11 fundamentally altered this picture. Whether, where, and how the United States should promote democracy around the world have become central questions in U.S. policy debates with regard to a host of countries including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and many others.


The question is: Is really democracy that the United States want?
What if such achieved democracy brought enemies to power in any of those countries?

Edit [Moderator]: Link removed
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2005 05:41 pm
Yes. Democracy is better than totalitarianism and systematic,government instituted oppression.

One thing mos of the countries share--along with visceral hatred of the US is-- a controlled media. The wilder, woolier countries--the ME mainly-- are spoonfed poison about the US.

Just as Indonesia improved their opinion of us after we sent help and representatives after the Tsunami, more news choices and less unfettered negative propaganda will eventually show that we aren't behind all the world's ills--and are in fact responsible for more of the world's benefactions.

Ultimately, long term, democracy helps peace and the perception of the US.

The hardliner running for President of Iran...wants to outlaw the internet.

Wonder why?

People won't vote to oppress themselves for long.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2005 06:08 pm
I guess some people never heard about the elections in Iraq when Saddam was president. Wink
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2005 06:31 pm
It doesn't count if there is a gun on you and Saddam's name is the only one on the ballot.

That's why I don't mind too much if the first election is some US hater. I just hope they'll feel the power of casting a vote and having a say.

It will change them.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2005 07:14 pm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
They had long hair, Western clothes and were beaten by a Talibanish group in Najaf. They have complained about it to the media.

<can't stop smiling>

READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!!

Iraqi students say arrested for wearing jeans By Khaled Farhan
Fri Jun 24,12:52 PM ET

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - Students in the Shi'ite Muslim religious Iraqi city of Najaf said that police recently arrested and beat several of them for wearing jeans and having long hair.

"They arrested us because of our hair and because we were wearing jeans," said student Mohammed Jasim, adding that the arrests took place two weeks ago in the city, the spiritual heart of Iraq's newly dominant Shi'ite majority.

"They beat us in front of the people. Then they took us to their headquarters, beat us again, shaved our heads and tore our clothes.

"When we asked what we had done, they said that we had no honor," he told Reuters this week.

Police in Najaf, a conservative city that some residents say has grown more so since Saddam Hussein was overthrown two years ago and religious Shi'ites gained greater power in Iraq, disputed the students' version of events.

"We didn't oppress any freedoms. We detained them for a while and after we knew that they were students, we released them after they pledged they wouldn't do it again," Colonel Najah Yasir told Reuters.

Yasir commands the Tho Alfakar Brigade, a unit whose name refers to Imam Ali, son-in-law of Islam's Prophet Mohammad, whose shrine is the centerpiece of Najaf.

Yasir said the brigade had received complaints from locals in the old part of Najaf that young men were gathering in the streets and acting "improperly."

He declined to elaborate on their "improper acts."

Earlier this week, Najaf's Youth Association delivered a statement to political parties denouncing the arrests and calling them a violation of rights.

Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, is holy to Shi'ites and home to many religious scholars, some of whom have a growing political role as spiritual leaders of the community that was oppressed under Saddam.

Throughout the Shi'ite south of Iraq over the past two years, alcohol salesmen and others deemed to trade in goods that violate Islam have been harassed by militants.

But it is not only in Shi'ite areas that religion plays an increasingly influential role in society.

In Falluja, a Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad that was until recently a stronghold of insurgents, there were efforts last year to instill a strict religious code similar to that enforced by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Several residents said they were beaten for violating it.
----------------
Things are progressing. First, they have the choice to decide to wear Western clothes...There is a media to complain to...they are brave enough to say something, rather than capitulate and cower....

The Taliban-ish group is a bit like the KKK....a last ditch effort to control...what you have lost control of.

SOLIDARITY with the Iraqi students!!!! I shall soon send some jeans and mindless heavy metal CDs!!!
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 09:16 pm
If another country had invaded America and insisted that they get rid of the KKK the nation would have rallied round. People don't like being dictated to by foreigners. You can promote democracy but not impose it.
If America held fair elections then it might become an example for others.

America does not support all Democracies: Hamas was democratically elected. But snubbed by the U.S.
The first country Bush visited to get support for his war on terror was the military junta in Pakistan.
It makes the claims to be interested in Democracy laughable: America bankrolled sadam when it was convenient for them and the Taliban too.
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