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Author Topic: Democracy in Arab Countries
remlind
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I would like to initiate an intellectual debate on the feasibility of democracies being able to endure in Arab, primarily Muslim countries.

Can countries that have largely been 'dictator ruled' develop, grow and nurture democracy within their realm?

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Can countries that have largely been 'dictator ruled' develop, grow and nurture democracy within their realm?
It's happened in Catholic and Latino and Slavic countries, the transition from dictatorship to democracies so I don't see why it can't happen in Muslim and Arab countries.

If you're asking me if it's going to happen *now*, I'm pessimistic. The Christian world had to essentially go to war against organized Christianity first, before it could become truly democratic. The Islamic world must similarly fight against organized Islam.

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Viking_Longship
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Turkey is more or less Democratic, but it got that way by building a cult of personality around Attaturk to counter-balance the influence of Islam.

Dictator ruled isn't really the issue. Most democracies were monarchies or some other form of dictatorship first. In the thrall of an all encompasing belief system that doesn't allow for devation from the system or recognize the humanity of those that do, that's the problem.

[ June 01, 2011, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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remlind
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Many of our forefathers stated things that specify our system of democracy was based on Biblical principles and it was only suitable for governing a people who hold to those principles. (Quotes with references available)

If that is true, I do not see how a largely Muslim nation can stand for long with our system of democracy. Now I am not saying that for any democratic system to stand it requires that, only our particular system. Other ‘democratic’ governments have existed, but the specific government established in America was/is different in many ways from any prior democratic system.

However, America seems intent on prescribing our own democratic system on the nations we help liberate from abominable, amiss, atrocious, and awful systems of government.

When our own people rise up against our government, what nation will come and help us? Moreover, will people say that the rebels fighting the government, and those helping them, are doing the right thing?

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Terry Lanciott
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When the Yom Kippur War started with an attack on Israel by Syria and Egypt on October 5, 1973, the United States along with many countries in the western world showed support for Israel. The support shown to Israel prompted several Arab exporting nations, OAPEC (Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries), and Iran to use oil as political leverage by imposing an embargo on the countries supporting Israel. The resulting effects would produce governmental policies based on conservation. This strategy created gas lines in the U.S. by way of fuel rationings. When it became evident that oil used in this manner was not going to be a temporary consequence, economic concerns in the western hemisphere quickly produced a nation-building stratagem that sought regional peace; stability tied to Israeli’s security.

The United States (U.S.) took the leading role in moderating the negotiations but contrary to the stated objective the U.S. presence would prove to be catalyst for the exacerbation of growing anti-western sentiments characteristic of the current political climate. Muslim and Judea societies have clashed and spilt blood in religiously driven territorial wars for over a thousand years and their resolve was grossly underestimated. The U.S., perceived has an outside intervening force that burdened the advancement of religious/political objectives, assisted in sustaining the overall dysfunction of the Middle East region, providing radical Muslim groups with a palatable target for hostility that manifest in terrorist activity and terrorism.

OAPEC continued the embargos, while the U.S. continued to attempt to facilitate negotiations from the position of chief negotiator. Iran continued its aggression towards Israel, and Western nations economic concerns continued to grow. Economic pressures escalated the need for a resolution; incremental positive gains in the quest for peace and stability would over shadow the radical Muslim efforts. The gains were the result of Egypt (OAPEC Member Nation) and Israel that formed understandings for greater acceptance and legitimacy for an Israeli nation, and Israel in turn would give back portions of land taken in previous battles. The unquestionable gains were finally recognized by member OAPEC nations in March 1974; they rescinded the embargo but anti-western sentiment had taken hold in the region and continued to spread and, thus, previous level of violence grew in number and intensity.

Likewise Western world economies and the pursuits of capitalism continued to push the peace agenda while overlooking identifiable societal inequities of the largest oil producing OAPEC governments. Conversely, OAPEC governments that expressed their continued opposition to Israel’s legitimate existence became increasingly marginalized and were labeled radicals. Eventually the OAPEC governing body voted these nations out of the organization. During this time of isolation these nations were systemically led into a state of repression that victimized citizens of the ostracized nations.

Under the growing reality of the actions that economic priorities of democracy ensue versus the jargon which placed the pursuits of life and liberty behind economic security gave birth to democracy’s poison contradiction. As the contradiction became evident it spread and anti-western sediment grew rapidly. These poison contradictions fueled the unrest in the region and have led the way for proliferation radical Muslim terrorist groups. Radical Muslims created an antidote made from terrorism and used by terrorists with the purpose of regaining control over the region. However this led to mounting tension between OAPEC and non-OAPEC nations and gave energy to evolving politically enigmatic personalities. This growing instability increased the likelihood of producing demoralizing and ruthless dictatorships, exemplified in Iran and Iraq.

Consequently, nations once treated, as bothersome rogue nations became organized and effective terrorists. Sporadic violence became barbarism that produced images focused on producing instability, mass hysteria and terror. This new construct would be embraced by not only radicals within the Middle East, but would spread throughout the world. As this new culture of anti-west terrorism blossomed, so would a new realization of the word enemy; the modern-day radical Islamic extremist movement would become the paradigm of the terrorist movement that constitute American nightmares, fuel fear and continue the unrest prevalent to the Middle East region.

Modern Mid-East terrorism against the West and U.S. particularly, has been the on the rise for at least the past 38 years and as long as the U.S. continues to meddle and spread the poison contained within the contradiction of democracy’s overall promise, Mid-Eastern countries will continue to produce an antidote of terrorism

-- POTENTIALLY; DANGEROUS, IDIOTS!

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DonaldD
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You can stop spamming the board any time now, Terry.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
When our own people rise up against our government, what nation will come and help us? Moreover, will people say that the rebels fighting the government, and those helping them, are doing the right thing?
If "our own people" were to "rise up against our government" in some sort of military rebellion, we should take appropriate military actions to defeat those committing treason. 150 years of propaganda still doesn't legitimize the Confederacy.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Many of our forefathers stated things that specify our system of democracy was based on Biblical principles and it was only suitable for governing a people who hold to those principles.
Many of our forefathers were influenced by the philosophical ideas that had emerged following a hundred years of religious extremism and violence. They rejected aspects of Christianity that had nourished that religious extremism and violence not only in England, but all across Europe.

It was less a difference between Christian and Islamic scripture, and more a particular response of a group of Europeans who adopted a Deist flavor of Christianity.

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Greg Davidson
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Terry, one way I address those who conflate Muslims with terrorists is to make a simple case with numbers. 1 out of every 80 million Muslims was involved in the 9/11 attack. 1 out of all 20 million Jews in the world assassinated the Israeli Prime Minister in 1996 to stop the Middle East peace process and promote extremism. I am a Jew, and I was alive in 1996 - yet I bear no more responsibility for that assassination than Muslims world-wide do for the 9/11 attacks
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RickyB
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"Many of our forefathers stated things that specify our system of democracy was based on Biblical principles and it was only suitable for governing a people who hold to those principles. (Quotes with references available)"

Fascinating. I didn't know the ancient Greeks or Romans held to biblical principles.

"Now I am not saying that for any democratic system to stand it requires that, only our particular system. Other ‘democratic’ governments have existed, but the specific government established in America was/is different in many ways from any prior democratic system.

However, America seems intent on prescribing our own democratic system on the nations we help liberate from abominable, amiss, atrocious, and awful systems of government."

How so? The US did not impose a winner takes all, bicameral, federal system on Iraq. Plus, the Japanese culture is not based on biblical principles and they're doing very well with the democracy style we imposed on them.

Plus, although I conceed that many of the founders have said such things, I reject the premise itself. Where in the bible is there a democracy? The people of Israel were governed first by divinely ordained leaders, then by charismatic unelected leaders, and then by kings. Where do democratic principles fit in?

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AI Wessex
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"When our own people rise up against our government, what nation will come and help us? Moreover, will people say that the rebels fighting the government, and those helping them, are doing the right thing?"

Are people preparing to rise up against our government? What is the basis for their rebellion? Is it principled or economic? If other countries come to their aid, it will be to participate in the commercial spoils of the success. There are no ideological powers in the world that will help create a new American order. If such a rebellion succeeds, the United States will cease to exist; welcome to the American Balkans.

There is a yearning for an idyllic past, either of the bible (a fractious agrarian world ruled by tribal leaders, despotic kings and warrior conquerors), or the newly minted US where there were documents defining our principles but no actual experience trying to live or govern by them.

The bible of devout evangelicals and Creationists never really existed. Would you like to be the 3rd wife of a goatherd? The post-Colonial paradise was more ineffectual and incomplete than expressive of the freedoms it espoused. Would you give up your right to vote or own property? How many household slaves would you want to own? Who needs urban sanitation if your biggest city only has 8,000 people

Ah, the Good Old Days.

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