Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thousands flee as Iraq violence deepens

I agree with President Bush when he said that hindsight is not wisdom.

I pose three questions:

When considering our influence in Iraq and that region of the world, has our involvement produced more good than bad?

Regardless of the previous question, and keeping in mind the recent developments in Lebanon, what will be our outcome in Iraq?

What should we be doing that we're not doing in Iraq, or are we doing everything we can, or should be have not gone into Iraq?

Read this story:


Blake Roberts said...

It's hard to say whether our presence has created more harm then good. WHile I do not know whether life was any "safer" under Hussain's rule, life certainly is not easy for them now.

The sad thing about liberty is that it is up to the people to ensure it. Government can institutionalize it, laws can define it, but it is the people who determine if it will exist. We provided the Iraqi's with an oppertunity, and wile there are many who are working for a better future, there are those demonstrating thier inability to live and function in an ordered democratic society.

Back in high school I attended a speech and debate model congress event. One of the other schools had put forward a resolution that would have urged the United States to take what ever steps neccesary to establish democracy in every country(this was about a month after 9/11, so sentiment was still high). I asked them one question, if we did estblish democracy in a country, what do we do if they as a people decide that they don't want it, and vote to restore thier old way of life?

While the situation in Iraq is differant, there are many (I'd say the large majority)who do not want the old system back, the principle is similar. What do you do when you give someone a chance, and they use thier new freedom to do things that you don't approve of (the election of Hamas in Palestine is a perfect example of legal democracy that backfires)? Was it then worth it?

I personally say it was, to use the old saying "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink", we gave them an oppertunity, and some simply so not want it.

As for what we can do more, I think the important thing to do is to build a workable economy, not just based on oil production. Having an actual economy will strengthen the government (how many governmental overthrows have occured during times of prosperity?), and it will provide them (the people) with a sense of national pride that will embolden them to take action against the terrorists. When they have a enviroment of prosperity, they will care. When they don't have to worry about how to feed thier family, how to provide for thier childs education, or how to provide basic services, then thier minds can focus on building a nation.

Our on history teaches us this. Duringthe revolution the greatest threat to the colonies wasn't the British soldiers. Our economy was in shambles, we couldn't pay soldiers to stay, and if they did, they knew thier family starved. Often, we could hardly feed them, so many just left.

In the end though, the choice is thiers, they have to step up. Democracy cannot be run by another power, eventually the people must take charge of thier own fate.

Jensen said...

I agree with a lot of what Blake had to say. When it comes down to the end it is the people who need to decide weather they want democracy or not. We are leading the horse to water, and that is all we can do. They as a people need to decide if they will drink, and take part in this young democracy. I personally believe that democracy is the best government ever formed on this earth, and I believe that every civilization should be introduced to it (if it is possible). I am not saying that we should try to convert every nation to democracy, but what I am say is that we are in Iraq now we should stay there until the job is finished. We all have free agency, and if they reject it, they reject it, but at least we gave them the chance. If the gospel is ever going to touch the Middle East I believe it will be though democracy.,7340,L-3278919,00.html

Another thing I know this link does not really apply to the questions that were just posted, but this link is worth looking at. I personally believe that it is a preview of things to come from our Western European “friends”. I don’t know about you guys, but I can sure see a day when Israel will stand alone against the world.

Binkyboy said...

What makes Democracy a more superior system? What gives you the right to judge other's intent? There are so many other forms of government that trying to install a single one over any other is almost surely an act of folly and hubris.

Blake Roberts said...

Mr. binkyboy,

First off, thank you for the comment!

If the head of state is all wise, all knowing, and totally dedicated to serving the people, then other forms of government might be better. However, a democracy/republic stands as the best way to prevent tyranny, as it removes the power of state from the hands of an individual. That's not to say tyranny of the majority cannot occur, but it is much less likely. I believe that a democratic government is better then Iraq's previous one, as thier former head of state was a genocidal dictator. Again, it is not perfect, but I believe it to be the most fair and just system this world can handle in it's present state.

I am not sure as to who you were referring to when you asked, "What gives you the right to judge other's intent?" If you meant it towards me, then here is my reply. It is virtually impossible to judge someones intent, unless the say directly what thier intent is. When they do so, I feel that everyone has the ability to judge for themselves, based upon thier own experiance and knowledge, whether that intent is good or bad. This allows us to form opinions on whether we will support thier cause.

I agree with you that if we think we can just show up, hold an election, and say that this system is better then what you had, we are indeed acting in folly. In order for it to work, the people must be behind it,a nd they must be the ones giving it strength. We can assist them in building it, but it is they that must choose to accept it or not, and we must respect them if they (as a people) decide against it. But, if the people do want it, I believe they can find greater happiness and prosperity under a democratic government then under any other.

In the end though, the best form of government is a theocratic monarchy with the great Creator at it's head. However, as that is not found outside the Church, we must settle with what we have to work with, which is the inspired Constitution that forms the basis of our system.

D.R. Jensen said...

I agree with Blake that the best form of government is a monarchy with God at the head, or an all-wise righteous leader. Yet in an imperfect world it is hard to have that, so like Blake said we have to do the best with what we have. In answering your question of what makes a democracy better then all the rest of the systems of government. I would like to ask you a few questions myself, to explain why a democracy is better. The first one is what country has a better economy then one with a democracy? What other form of government can the people themselves elect their leaders? What other form of government is governed by the people? What other forms of government has a more free society then one with a democracy? What form of government has checks in balances that are better then a democracy? I agree with Blake in that a democracy is not perfect, but that is because we are not perfect. Democracy has its problems, but what form of government doesn’t? It is like what Winston Churchill said “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been.” I think the answer to your question is in theses questions.

I am not really sure what you meant by “What gives you the right to judge other's intent.” I am sorry if you toke my words in the wrong context, but I was never really trying to judge any ones intent. Yet, I do find it kind of hypocritical that your Blog has an explanation for the “intent” of Israel attacking Lebanon. What gives you the right to judge Israel’s intent? I mean in case you have forgotten Israel did give up land at least two times to have peace with their neighbors. They gave up land to Egypt, and to the Palestinians. Egypt has kept it’s promise of peace, but the Palestinians sure have not. I really doubt Israel is in this war as a power grab. Israel hates war just as much as anybody else. They have been in Lebanon before without much success. Yet, they have to it again not because of a power grab, but to protect their sovereignty and to rescue their own. Please stop with the conspiracy theories, and pay attention to history. We can learn at lot from the Lebanon crisis. This could happen to us if we leave Iraq before it is time.

Also, as for your statement that I want to install democracy in all parts of the world. Well I do, but is it possible? I don’t really think so, but we are in Iraq now, so we might as well finish the job. I said that we should install democracy more as a dream than a reality.

Chaucer Arafat said...

objective scholarship can give someone (whoever is willing to work) the right to judge intent, yet those judgments remain purely subjective. i have long thought that there might be something to the question raised by 'binkyboy' (shudder..). there are cultural considerations that might preclude 'democracy' as we know it from functioning in an area such as Iraq. It is very ethnocentric to assume that you can slap a democratic system (a la the USA) in place and that it will function autonomously. There are levels of intrigue and struggle at play in that area that are not fully known, least of all to me. The idea is right, but I think we need to style this democracy upon something from the former system (very loosely!!). I have no idea how such a synthesis could be acheived.

My personal recurring fear with the Iraq war is the idea i have been repeating in my head, that you can't bomb an ideology