OT: Congratuilations to the people of Iraq

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yeah... those CPA's are a bitch... especially around tax time!
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Yep. Never happen. Just like it didn't happen in Germany and Japan after World War II.
Obviously just flat impossible. Nope. No way. Complete illusion.
Now if you want to move out of the realm of high-order abstractions and semantically loaded terms, things appear a little different.

You might be right. OTOH your reasoning is, shall we say, a trifle simplistic.
There's a tendency on the part of Westerners to see politics in countries like Iraq solely in terms of religious affiliation. While that's important, things like tribal and community loyalties are even more important. In fact what usually happens, whether there's an institutional political process or not, is an elaborate balancing act between a lot of factors, from religion to clan affiliation to family interests that go into making these decisions.
In other words there are major rifts within the Shiite community, just as there are in the Sunni and Kurdish communities. (Although perhaps those are less important right now in the Kurdish areas.) Historically it is not at all uncommon to see Sunni and Shiites making common cause against their co-religionists. In fact that's the pattern more often than not.
There's also the fact that the Iraqis are mostly Arabs, not Persians, and that drives a wedge between Iranian and Iraqi Shiites.
On top of this you have the way the process and the new government is designed. Both the Kurds and the Sunnis were well aware of -- and quite concerned about -- possible attempts to turn Iraq into a Shiite state.
What is going to happen next is a period of intense politicing and negotiation as the various factions compete for power.
The outcome? You might end up with a Shiite Islamic Republic as a puppet of Iran. But that is a long, long way from as certain as you seem to feel.
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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No, I don't feel that any Iraqi government will ever be a puppet of Iran, and I never said that.
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Okay, my mistake. I was reading something into your statement that wasn't there.
However I believe that is the only way you're likely to get the kind of Shiite fundamentalist government in Iraq you got in Iran. Iran is almost 100 percent Shiite. Iraq is only about 60 percent Shiite.
This isn't going to stop some of the Shiites from trying, of course. But without a liberal helping of outside influence it isn't likely to happen.
--RC "Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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That's enough to maintain a comfortable majority in any electoral political process. We'll see what happens when their constitution is drafted later this year. Al-Sistani is going to be a major player and he wants to incorporate Islamic law.
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That assumes: 1) That all the Shiites will present a united front 2) That there are no special provisions in rules of representation, etc.
1 is unlikely and 2 is untrue. As I say, the Kurds and the Sunni wanted to prevent the Shiites from having too much power. This can be modified as the Iraqis draft their constitution, but IIRC they have limits on what they can do for the first few years written into the rules.

Okay, now that's a different question -- and a different standard. Iraq will almost certainly be run under some form of Islamic law. But that doesn't mean it's going to be run by religious leaders -- much less Shiite leaders.
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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While Ayatollah Sistani may not have a seat in the government (at this time), he has a lot more influence over more of the population than any government official. Let's not forget that Sistani led the mass protests and demonstrations last year that demanded an election and a constitution, rather than the selection process put forth by Paul Bremer and the Iraqi Governing Council.
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snipped-for-privacy@takeoutmindspring.com wrote:
: Yep. Never happen. Just like it didn't happen in Germany and Japan : after World War II.
Have a look at Vietnam, 1967:
"U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote : Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror
by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.
According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.
The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here."
Six years later, we had the last heli-airlift from Hanoi.
With tens of thousands of US casualties preceding.
    Yay, Bush admin!
    -- Andy Barss
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On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 06:08:15 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

Irrelevant to the initial claim -- which was that elections under occupation never led to a representative government.
--RC "Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 06:08:15 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

Never happen again... we have CNN now.. *g*
When I was a grunt, I hated the news folks, getting in the way and asking dumb questions..
As I got older and less aggressive (which, again, is why we have young kids fight our wars) I appreciate the news networks looking over everyone's shoulder... I think it's helps keep us a bit more honest..
I was there for the 67 elections and can tell you that they were about as fair and unbiased as the ones that Saddam held..
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"mp" wrote in message

form
a
suffering
Ah, mp ... you're just trying once again to prove, by example, that the fools in a free society are as dangerous as its enemies.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
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There are none so blind as those who will not see.
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None. The idea of not having freedom is so foreign to us that some don't understand that it exists in the world.

Yes, they also deserved the support of the entire world and in particular the UN when this whole thing started. I would not be surprised if the newly elected goverment of Iraq says in diplomat-speak to the UN and the significant number of influencial counries who did all they could to stop this to "shove it".

This is the key. Those who have given their lives for this cause have not died in vain. They will be remembered as heros to a newly freed nation.
Frank
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