Elections and Freedom rearing its head in the Void.

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Elections and Freedom rearing its head in the Void.

Postby LarryTGC » Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:18 pm

The peopels of Afganistan voted in the first ever elections in that nations history just a few months ago!

The Palestians held elections last week!

The peoples of Iraq will be voting in imminent elections shortly!

What an opportunity for theses combined populations (65 millionish).

History is unfolding before the eyes of the world.

My questions are;

What are the obsticles these freedom seeking people face?
Will these obsticles be overcome?
How?
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Postby tsian » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:40 am

Lets see: Not all areas of Afghanistan can vote.

The people in Iraq want to put off elections, but the US seems unlikely to let them. This is insane. If it is not safe for people to vote, how can you honestly claim the results are representative of the people's will? Elections may be an institution of democracy, but merely holding them does not a democracy make. The people in Iraq and Afghanistan, while marginally better off at present, are still a long way from being anywhere near free.

The people in Palestine (and Isreal, for that matter) will never be free as long as mad men control the dialogue.
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Postby LarryTGC » Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:21 am

So I guess its safe to assume you are not on board with elections in the void?

Lets see: Not all areas of Afghanistan can vote.


Afganistan had its first election ever not long ago.
If not all areas of Afganistan can vote, why is that? What is the obsticle?
By all accounts Afganistan has been a success.

The people in Iraq want to put off elections


The people of Iraq want to put off the election?????
Who are you defining as 'the people'? The terrorist blowing stuff up and beheading people in an effort to scare people away from the voting booth?

Do you believe the average man and woman on the street want to put off the vote?

Thats insane.

but the US seems unlikely to let them.


Yes, thats right. The vote goes forward :)
The terrorists will lose.

This is insane. If it is not safe for people to vote, how can you honestly claim the results are representative of the people's will?


The way I see it, without the vote it will not be safe in Iraq.
The terrorists must hear the voice of the people. The people that have been silenced for too long by fear.

The people of Iraq will elect a 295 member representive council.
This will send a clear message throught the country that the foriegn terrorists and the Baath party has beens are not the peoples choice.

From there a Constitution will be ratified by the elected representives and another vote will take place near the end of the year to elect a President.

These are unprecidented events in the void.
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Postby ChatOmbre » Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:36 am

LarryTGC wrote:The people of Iraq want to put off the election?????
Who are you defining as 'the people'? The terrorist blowing stuff up and beheading people in an effort to scare people away from the voting booth?

Do you believe the average man and woman on the street want to put off the vote?

Thats insane.


Plenty of the terrorists are also both people and of Iraq.

But, about the "average" person... Sure! Why not, when you might get blown to bits by voting?
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Postby TerraFrost » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:02 am

This will send a clear message throught the country that the foriegn terrorists and the Baath party has beens are not the peoples choice.

for the Ba'ath party to be revealed as not being the people's choice, the people will first need to be given the choice of voting for the Ba'ath party. will they have that choice? on May 16, 2004, Paul Bremer - the guy who was in charge of rebuilding Iraq - banned the Ba'ath party from participating in government:

http://www.iraqcoalition.org/regulation ... ciety_.pdf

so based on that, i'd have to guess the ba'ath party wouldn't be on the ballot, but i don't know, for sure.

aside from that, i think that whomever is elected is going to be in a very precarious position. on Jan. 4th of this year, the governor of the Baghdad provence was killed (ref). whomever is elected as president of Iraq (or the head of the assemby, or whatever) on Jan. 30th is probably gonna be a much more appealing target.
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Postby LarryTGC » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:09 am

Plenty of the terrorists are also both people and of Iraq.


Yes, this is true. And if they were to register they could vote. Only in a perfect world I guess.

But, about the "average" person... Sure! Why not, when you might get blown to bits by voting?


That is definetly a risk. Plenty of the terrorists whom some are people, and of Iraq, despise the thought of the average person having any say whatsoever in the future of their nation.

for the Ba'ath party to be revealed as not being the people's choice, the people will first need to be given the choice of voting for the Ba'ath party. will they have that choice?


The people have never had the choice to vote for the Baath party in Iraq. err... I take that back. Saddam did recieve 100% of the vote in the last 'election'.

No, the baath party will not be on the ballot. They are too busy dead, in jail, blowing up innocent people, killing Americans, and cutting off heads.
Their days of tyranny are coming to end. And the people of Iraq will finally be able to speak thru their votes.

However, Sunni's are on the ticket.

whomever is elected as president of Iraq (or the head of the assemby, or whatever) on Jan. 30th is probably gonna be a much more appealing target.


That is very true. What brave people to stand up in the face of evil. What courage it must take.

Do you two suggest the postponment of elections till a later date?
Till when?
What good would it do?
Whom would it benefit?
Is the terrorist objective not to delay and destroy the democrat process developing in Iraq?
Why should they be handed a victory at the expense of the average Iraqi's choice?
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Postby TerraFrost » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:26 am

Do you two suggest the postponment of elections till a later date?
Till when?

i dunno - i think that having elections on Jan 30th could go either way. it could be a good thing (as you've sorta argued for), or it could be a bad thing (as others have sorta argued for).

as far as the terrorists objectives - i get the feeling that they're primarily after a us withdrawl from the middle east. pursuant to that, it seems as if they're enganging in a violent propaganda war - they're trying to convence people that anything and everything from he US is bad. preventing the democratic election seems to be just a small part of that overall goal.

with that in mind, i think that giving the iraqi insurgents a small victory might be the stratigic thing to do if it can lead to an overall greater victory.

also, i think that this first election is probably gonna be iraq's most important one. as the saying goes, the first impression is the most important one. if this election is considered illegitmate by a substantional number of people, democracy may be considered illegitimate, as well.
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Postby tsian » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:42 am

The people of Iraq want to put off the election?????
Who are you defining as 'the people'? The terrorist blowing stuff up and beheading people in an effort to scare people away from the voting booth?

Do you believe the average man and woman on the street want to put off the vote?


I think that members of the IRAQI Governing Council... you know 'the people' appointed by the US to oversee the whole running of Iraq want to put off the vote. I also think that people in areas where they still fear for their life are in no position to go out and feel safe voting, hence the vote will not be representative of Iraq.

Thats insane.


Yes. Damn insane governing council wanting to put off the vote. I wonder who installed them?

Yes, thats right. The vote goes forward icon_smile.gif
The terrorists will lose.


See above. I mean, heck, it's only the people the US put in charge and other leading Iraqi's who have voiced concern over the impracticality of holding a fair and free election (a must for it to be concidered democratic) when many people still live under constant fear of death.

The people of Iraq will elect a 295 member representive council.
This will send a clear message throught the country that the foriegn terrorists and the Baath party has beens are not the peoples choice.


Out of curiosity, what would you say if they elect a 295 member council which is predominantly against continued american presence?

Why should they be handed a victory at the expense of the average Iraqi's choice?


It is precisely because the average Iraqi should have free choice -- and feel safe to vote -- that election should be delayed somewhat. Democracy cannot be simply created overnight.

To quote the washington post (easiest article to find at the time. I could get others if you'd like)

Iraq's realism is that national elections may be impractical, not to say impossible, amid the mounting violence gripping the country. Indeed, as predicted, the violence appears to be increasing as Election Day approaches.
The result may be that parts of the country — the Sunni areas, for example — may be unable to vote. Many Iraqis have made it known they will not venture outside their homes on Election Day.


http://washingtontimes.com/commentary/2 ... -4762r.htm
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Postby LarryTGC » Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:12 am

How can such evil persist in the world?

The result may be that parts of the country — the Sunni areas, for example — may be unable to vote. Many Iraqis have made it known they will not venture outside their homes on Election Day.


This is so sickening to me. Alot of the terrorist are actually Sunni. And their goal is to so terrify their neighbors that they are silenced. Scared to leave their own homes. And why????

Because some are soooo fearful of freedom they will stop at NOTHING to deny it to all.

How sad.

Read some of these dispicable acts of hate commited by the terrorists recently,

The Iraqi Catholic archbishop of Mosul was kidnapped at gunpoint as insurgents expanded their targets


Elsewhere in Ramadi, a predominantly Sunni Muslim city, officials found the bodies of five civilians and one Iraqi soldier. Each had a handwritten note declaring them collaborators, officials said. Four found together had been shot while two discovered later in the day were beheaded, their blood-soaked bodies left where they died. The notes identified the two beheaded victims as Shiite Muslims.


insurgents unleashed mortars and bombs and opened fire on polling stations in several cities Monday, killing at least 22 policemen and soldiers as their sabotage campaign intensified with two weeks to go before Iraqis elect a 275-member national assembly.


Polling stations came under fire in at least two other cities. A security guard was killed, and guerrillas engaged U.S. troops protecting a school designated for voting.


I believe the statements below are true.

Deferred elections would be seen as a victory for the al Qaeda-backed insurgency, giving it a breath of fresh air after their defeat in Fallujah.

In this case, he who blinks first will be considered defeated. A victory by the insurgency will garner them much-needed support.


Blinks first hmmm.

Let us hope the freedom loving people in Iraq and around the world do not blink first. The terrorists are desperate to stop the vote.

They know tyranny is their victory.
And FREEDOM IS THEIR DEFEAT.
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Postby tsian » Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:47 am

his is so sickening to me. Alot of the terrorist are actually Sunni. And their goal is to so terrify their neighbors that they are silenced. Scared to leave their own homes. And why????

Because some are soooo fearful of freedom they will stop at NOTHING to deny it to all.

How sad.

Read some of these dispicable acts of hate commited by the terrorists recently,


I'm well aware. What is your point? My point is clear -- it is unreasonable to hold elections when a large portion of the population will be to afraid to vote. Until some level of security has been established, how can you expect free and fair elections to be held?

Let us hope the freedom loving people in Iraq and around the world do not blink first. The terrorists are desperate to stop the vote.

They know tyranny is their victory.
And FREEDOM IS THEIR DEFEAT.


Again, what is freedom if you are too afraid to exercise it. That isn't freedom. If you truly want to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq, wouldn't it be nice to ensure that they all get the chance to exercise their rights?
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Postby theprophet123 » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:52 am

For starters, I don't think the US should have ever invaded Iraq in the first place.

But, with that said, the US can't leave now, and things are only going to get worse until the elections. We can't delay them, even if a significant portion of the populace won't be able to vote. Because that would be a clear sign of victtory and even more recruits would flood their ranks, as if they don't have enough already. So in my mind our only option is to stay in Iraq as until the insurgents are defeated, and a well trained ploice force or army is created. As the current Iraqi army isn't worth shit, well possibly half of them are, and thats giving them some undue credit in my mind.
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:32 am

What an odd debate, are people here actually making the case that somehow the terrorists could 'lose' an election? The election, largely symbolic is MUCH more important to the citizens of america right now than it is likely to be for the Iraqis. Think about it, with patchy electricity, bad water and difficult food, terrorist bombs and thugs on one side, and sometimes random or mistaken american armed forces on the other, what would a newly elected government do to fix any of this that a governing council isn't? The only direct benefit to the Iraqis from an immediate election is that they will now be living in a 'democratic' state (see below). As i said, this is largely symbolic but it would vindicate the american mission in Iraq, freeing them from the criticism that they've invaded a foreign country, installed a governor and then done nothing to return the country to it's people. This means a lot for people like LarryTGC, apparently, people who have a deep-seated need to believe that their country is doing good in the world, people who need to see large blinking signs of their own benificence in every action their gov't takes. So how do the terrorists 'lose' this election, larry? Should a government unfavorable to their will be elected, won't they merely continue their campaign to intimidate the people of Iraq? What would the Iraqis win? And do you really think you're in ANY position to critisize the choices that Iraqi people might make to protect their lives from terrorist violence or american reprisals? What right do you have to insult people for refusing to participate in a gesture designed primarily to placate people such as yourself? What liberty is there in a truck bomb? Would you have those you love risk their lives to make a statement?


Now, to deflame this debate a bit, i will address the questions you began this topic with.

IRAQ - - "What are the obsticles these freedom seeking people face?"
In Iraq, i see two major problems for these people to overcome, one relatively short term and one fundamental and possibly irreconcilable. The short term problem is the sectarian terrorist violence wracking the country at this moment. This problem relates to the other problem, which is the fundamentally divided nature of the country itself. The Iraqi people contain some extremely diverse ethnic groups, and deeply divided religious sects. The three major factions being the Kurds, who want an independant state of their own to the north (which the US will not allow, for fear of angering an important ally, Turkey, whose millitarist government has a long, long history of using US Aid and weapons to persecute and massacre their local Kurds, who they really don't want to get any ideas), the Sunni and the Shi'ite muslims. There is no practical way, at this point, to reconcile the aims of these three groups, though many seem to have rallied around the idea of expelling the American occupying forces.

IRAQ - - Will these obsticles be overcome?
Not in the forseeable future. In the unlikely event that the US is able to create a functional democracy in Iraq, I highly doubt that it will achieve any stability without resorting to millitary control of dissident sections of the country. If you gave the kurds the option, they'd vote for independance. If you gave the Shi'ites the option, they'd split as well. Of course, no government that the Americans will allow to take power is going to allow these events to take place (gotta keep the oil in the family).

PALESTINE - - "What are the obsticles these freedom seeking people face?"
The major obsticle is of course Israel, which will under no circumstances withdraw to it's original boundaries, and will never, ever allow the palestinians a fully autonomous state. Period. Israel needs to control the water and resources under palestinian lands, and is terrified of the possibility that the Palestinians will ally with Israel's enemies. Further, though they constantly express the intent to do so, it is politically very difficult for Israel's leaders to restrain, much less withdraw the millitaristic colonies in palestinian territory. There is a deep, deep current of anti-palestinian sentiment in certain segments of Israeli society, and any government making a serious effort to remove these troublemakers is not going to last. The Palestinian's problems are further enhanced by the continued terrorism of fundamentalists on both sides of the conflict, it seems that whenever a peace settlement seems possible, some bastard either blows himself up on a crowded bus, or an IDF officer shoots some little kid for no reason at all.

PALESTINE - - "Will these obsticles be overcome? "
Again, not in the forseeable future.

AFGHANISTAN - - "What are the obsticles these freedom seeking people face?"
The major obsticle they face is that afghanis have never particularily sought freedom. At least, not in the form that americans would like to see. Afghanistan has traditionally been run by comepeting tribes of warlords, and since america armed and paid many of these petit dictators during their 'war' against the taliban, it's unlikely that these brutal bandit lords will be disentrenched any time soon. The short attention span of the american public didn't help much either, the US really didn't do a good job removing the Taliban infrastructure, and they're making a minor comeback in some areas. It's hard to believe now, but the taliban were actually a preferred option for the Afghani people at the time they took over, they exersized some control over the criminal warlords (this is why the 'northern alliance' opposed them) and virtually eliminated the dangerous but profitable opium trade (now going full force once again).

- - AFGHANISTAN "Will these obsticles be overcome? "
No. It is unlikely that the Afghani people will soon assimilate a western liberal democratic tradition that is the result of hundreds of years of evolution with any ease. Centralized government depends on a populace willing to centralize, and i doubt that you'll see the traditinonal tribal structure of this country do this anytime soon. At least with the Arabic countries of Iraq and Palestine there is a historical tradition of central governments.



"Because some are soooo fearful of freedom they will stop at NOTHING to deny it to all. "
*laughs* There's no lie more powerful or more absurd than the big lie. It must be wonderful to live in a world where everything reduces to polar opposites so easily and so cleanly. Can you find me even one single instance of a terrorist claiming to oppose freedom? Do you understand the general function of terrorism? Terrorists commit spectacular acts of violence in order to primarily gain publicity for their beliefs, terrorists do not, generally, lie about their beliefs, since that would defeat the purpose of their attacks. And yet, you do not see Al Quaeda executives publishing manifestos calling for an end to freedom. Rather, the major issues seemed to be geopolitical, and much of their anger seems to stem from the traditional arab suspicion that they're on the recieving end of another crusade. The Islamic millitants who make up most terrorist groups usually object to foreign domination of traditionally islamic territory, and though they're rarely democrats, their opposition isn't directed at democracy itself but at american presence in saudi arabia, the western support of Israel against the palestinians and similar matters.
I suppose i shouldn't be suprised that you've swollowed one of bush's sound bytes whole, but I would hope that eventuallly you'll actually think about it.


I suppose in sum i should just state that Iraqi elections held now will be a propaganda exersize, and absolutely nothing more. Since there is absolutely no prospect of a meaningful outcome to the elections, I don't see why reasonable people should risk their lives to vote in them. The Afghani elections were a joke, Hamid Kharzai is referred locally as the president of Kabul, because that's about as far as his influence stretches, and the women of that country now have even LESS freedoms than they did under the taliban. The palestinians have been electing leaders for quite some time now, with no measurable increase in liberty or safety, and the world marches on....

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Postby LarryTGC » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:35 am

Wow exaltedugu, that is the single most negative thing ive ever read.

It is unfortunate that you offer no ideas for success. It is unfortunate that you have such little faith in the power of Democracy to transform poison into honey. Oppression to liberty. Frustration into hope.

I am glad that you recognize this fact;

It is unlikely that the ________ people will soon assimilate a western liberal democratic tradition that is the result of hundreds of years of evolution with any ease.


America itself has faced revolution, civil war, assinations and countless other bumps on the road to liberty. The fine tuning countinues to this day.
And I am not so arrogant to assume other peoples can not do what America has done and is doing. What in the world makes you assume Arabs or Muslims are not capable of freedom?

You speak of the division among the different groups in Iraq. This is true.

Q: What will unite them? What could possibly start bringing them together?

A: A Constitution ratified by the soon to be 275 elected representives.
Last edited by LarryTGC on Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby LarryTGC » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:39 am

A look to the past to understand the present.
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:39 am

"It is unfortunate that you offer no ideas for success. It is unfortunate that you have such little faith in the power of Democracy to transform poison into honey. Oppression to liberty. Frustration into hope. "

*gales of laughter* I know that it is hard for americans to believe, but the rest of the world has not been raised to see democracy as the cure for all ills. One might point out that in many countries, free and democratic elections that resulted in the wrong candidate winning quickly brought CIA sponsored coups and renewed terror, ask the Chileans what democracy got them in the 70s, the Iranians in the 50s, the Vietnamese in the 50s, the Greeks for thirty years after world war 2.
But democracy is REALLY, REALLY important to the american government, or at least, the semblance of democracy. It doesn't matter much to the american people what the conditions of voting are for the Iraqis, or what kind of possible political campaign someone could make to the Iraqi people now, never minding that Iraq has deep problems that are extremely unlikely to be solved by an election. And what do you think an election would do about the terrorism situation in Iraq, do you think that the terrorists will just pack up their mortars and go away if elections are held?

I realize that democracy is a potent symbol in your internal semiotics, and i am trying to treat it gently, but in actual fact, a democracy is only going to work in a country that is otherwise ready for it. Germany WAS a democracy before the war, and resumed it's democratic status as soon as it could afterwards. But neither Iraq nor Afghanistan's cultures have shown much sign of a longing for democracy, nor for the american concept of freedom as propounded by your government. Note also that although the US says that they want self-determination for the Iraqi people, the provisional constitution has set some laws that any elected Iraqi body CANNOT repeal. Further, no elected Iraqi government of any stripe is going to be able to dislodge the american presence from their country, something that most Iraqis would vote for in an instant. Think on this, no matter WHAT kind of election were held her, the Iraqis would be unlikely to get anything more than a minor part of their grievances dealt with.

"And I am not so arrogant to assume other peoples can not do what America has done and is doing. What in the world makes you assume Arabs or Muslims are not capable of freedom?"
Oh, this... freedom and democracy are nowhere near the same thing, as you surely must know. And further, in a country as deeply polarized as Iraq is, any elected government is going to be very unpopular with at least two large segments of the population. And it's not that i'm saying that Arabs or Muslims are not capable of freedom, if you actually read my post, i don't think i even imply that. The lack of ability if anything is in the other direction, democracy right now, in this situation and in American form, will do NOTHING for the people of Iraq. Absolutely Nothing.
As for afghanistan, please re-read my post on this. How do elections only accessable to a small minority of the population in any way change the reality of life in that country? Can you elect out of office a tribal warlord? Can you elect the vigilante groups that are re-opressing women, often with the help of people in the Afghani beuracracy? These countries have not benefited from a western democratic tradition being dropped on them with no cultural context for it, and why on earth would they?

"You speak of the division among the different groups in Iraq. This is true.

Q: What will unite them? What could possibly start bringing them together?

A: A Constitution ratified by the soon to be 275 elected representives.
"
Oh, that would be really nice.... what about the people who don't feel served by the constitution, or do you possibly imagine that a constitution could be crafted, right now, that would satisfy the wishes of all parties while remaining acceptable to the US occupying force? I can't think what it could possibly be. Do you really think that terrorists and sectarian leaders are going to stop fighting because 275 people, elected (we hope) fairly from among the peole say so?

I realize that this is pessimistic, but the world does suck right now, and i don't see too many positive signs in the future. Still, it would be wonderful if i'm wrong, but i've learned too much history to have any faith in elections as a cure for any ill.

As Douglas Adams put it, no-one capable of getting themselves elected to any political office should by any means be allowed to hold it. Anyone who is political enough to win an election is far too political to be acting in the interests of the people they're going to govern.

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