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> It's Iraqi Sovereignty, Stupid!, ...did we miss a meeting or something?
turnea
post Sep 17 2003, 11:27 PM
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This thread will be used to debate what plan (or combination of plans) would be better for Iraq. The continuation of the CPA as the Bush administration claims to support? The French plan of transition of power in one month? Some other plan proposed by a Security Council member?

QUOTE
Mr Powell, who had arrived from a Geneva meeting of the permanent UN Security Council, said there were still differences with Council members who wanted a speedier handover of power to an Iraqi administration.

But he said: "The worst thing that could happen is for us to push this process too quickly, before the capacity for governance is there and the basis for legitimacy is there - and see it fail." ...
In Geneva, France had suggested the establishment of a new Iraqi Government in a month, which Mr Powell dismissed as "totally unrealistic".

He's not the only one. mrsparkle.gif

This post has been edited by turnea: Sep 17 2003, 11:32 PM
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kimpossible
post Sep 21 2003, 02:58 AM
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How is it "democracy" if its imposed on you by another country? And the US formed a democratic society all by itself after a war, I am not sure why we think that another country is incapable of it.
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GoAmerica
post Sep 21 2003, 04:10 AM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Sep 20 2003, 09:58 PM)
And the US formed a democratic society all by itself after a war, I am not sure why we think that another country is incapable of it.

The reason Iraq is possibly not capable of supporting democracy is because it is used to Militrist and islamic law type deal for 2 decades. The same with Afghanistan.
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Wertz
post Sep 21 2003, 08:22 AM
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Has anyone given any serious thought to partition? Iraq is, after all, a thoroughly artificial creation, just as Yugoslavia was - and all that has held it together since 1958 is a series of military despots like Saddam Hussein. As a "republic", it has never really had much more definition than the borders of the surrounding countries. Will the Kurds, the Shi'as, and the Sunnis ever form a cohesive "nation"? Unlikely.

Would it make more sense to create three separate states (with, perhaps, three different forms of government)? Granted, there could still be tensions between such states, but at least they could be mediated by international bodies - but there wouldn't be the prospect of ongoing civil insurrection within the current, capriciously concocted country (such as that with which Hussein himself had to contend), which could mean a permanent presence by international (or coalition) bodies.

Is anyone even considering this? Are there serious problems with dividing the territory which I'm not seeing?
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CruisingRam
post Sep 21 2003, 10:13 AM
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Well, one I can think of, Turkey made us promise not to make a Kurdish homeland in exchange for help on several occasions. The Turks are pretty heavy into the genocide thing against the Kurds, and don't want them having a nation anywhere.
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turnea
post Sep 21 2003, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Sep 20 2003, 09:58 PM)
How is it "democracy" if its imposed on you by another country? And the US formed a democratic society all by itself after a war, I am not sure why we think that another country is incapable of it.

1. Of course democracy can be imposed, as long as it is not imposed against the will of the people in question. Set up democratic institutions for a people willing to use them and then leave. There you have an imposed democracy. Most Iraqis want democracy, the US has created the conditions to make that a possibility.

2. The US was lucky (pretty darn really), according to my understanding of history the government came close to falling more than once... Iraqis are in what seems to ;me to be a even more volatile situations, they could use the extra help.

QUOTE(Wertz)
Has anyone given any serious thought to partition? Iraq is, after all, a thoroughly artificial creation, just as Yugoslavia was - and all that has held it together since 1958 is a series of military despots like Saddam Hussein. As a "republic", it has never really had much more definition than the borders of the surrounding countries. Will the Kurds, the Shi'as, and the Sunnis ever form a cohesive "nation"? Unlikely.


Come on.... never? Forever is a long time Wertz biggrin.gif

I do see where there is reason for concern but then using America's example again partitioning would only play to these prejudices. I believe it is best to see if Iraqis, already used to considering one another countrymen (except for most of the Shia, blame Saddam) can find a workable solution since they have so much to offer one another. If need for separation comes then they might need international help, but if they can live with one another (sectarian violence has been lower than expected) then all the better.

As as CrusingRam point out, there is the little problem of the Turks dry.gif
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GoAmerica
post Sep 21 2003, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Sep 21 2003, 03:22 AM)
Will the Kurds, the Shi'as, and the Sunnis ever form a cohesive "nation"? Unlikely.

Would it make more sense to create three separate states (with, perhaps, three different forms of government)? Granted, there could still be tensions between such states, but at least they could be mediated by international bodies - but there wouldn't be the prospect of ongoing civil insurrection within the current,  capriciously concocted country (such as that with which Hussein himself had to contend), which could mean a permanent presence by international (or coalition) bodies.

Is anyone even considering this? Are there serious problems with dividing the territory which I'm not seeing?

The Turks wouldn't like that idea because they hate the Kurds already, them starting their own state would cause more tension, as if we don't have enough already in the area.
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Horyok
post Sep 22 2003, 12:40 PM
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Wertz, I believe GA is right. A partition of the state would certainly increase local tensions with Iraq's neighbors. The geographic New Deal you're talking about could result in three wars instead of one!
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Wertz
post Sep 22 2003, 12:45 PM
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Like this administration cares what the Turks (or anyone else) think? And it's hardly likely that the US is going to start honoring promises made to other countries at this point in our history... rolleyes.gif

The threat of hostilities between a Kurdish state and Turkey is a consideration, but would it be any worse than hostilities between Turkey and the Kurds in Iraq - on top of tensions between the Kurds and the rest of the Iraqi population?
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Danya
post Sep 22 2003, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 19 2003, 12:58 PM)
To clarify remarks about the "logic of occupation" it is a phrase used in reference to this stance for the French foreign minister:
QUOTE
Foreign Minister Mr Dominique de Villepin urged the coalition powers to switch from "a logic of occupation to a logic of sovereignty" in Iraq.

"We can't make do with adjusting or enlarging the current plan," he told the daily Le Monde.

"The right thing would be to bring into play a true international force under the mandate of the United Nations. Sovereignty is a matter of urgency," Mr de Villepin added.

US control of troops in Iraq an obstacle, says Annan
This is simply not the issue in Iraq. Transfer of power is not urgent. Democratic institutions and infrastructure to allow this transfer of power are the true issue. I consider the "one month" suggestion an insult to the intelligence of any one who heard it. And I wonder why it is not being questioned as rigorously as it should. It shows me that the well-being of Iraqis is certainly not the French governments goal in the UN efforts, which will make negotiation difficult.

I think his statements prove the opposite as well. Besides, if you mess with my favorite diplomat I might get angry. wub.gif

I think the concern is that we had scheduled elections and canceled them. We then CHOSE a council but they have little power over the problems in their own country. We then just recently chose about 20 more to lead ministries. Who knows if they've even begun yet. What we've done so far is put in place a very weak puppet government that is more a token symbol.

I'm not sure what has to be done before we can start writing that constitution are starting elections. Are we waiting for security to improve? All of the electricity to come back? The entire infrastructure to be rebuilt? What's stopping them from announcing and implementing a plan to do something other than fail?

And how is it that we've had plenty of time to deal with this:
QUOTE
The U.S.-led occupation authority here has ordered the overhaul of fundamental elements of Iraq's socialist economy and instituted wide-ranging free-market reforms that will allow full foreign ownership in every sector except oil, U.S. and Iraqi officials said today.
wp

The audacity of deciding this without the Iraqi's being able to do or say a thing about it is just one of many indications that liberation is not the priority and all those people suspecting it was about profits...oil or otherwise...were right.

What is Bush doing meddling in the economic interests before deciding a government structure? (Look at our economy...does he have any credibility to know what to do about theirs?) Why go through all that time and trouble when the Iraqi's may decide they want something totally different or want to deal with different people? How is the US able to authorize contracts for things that don't belong to them? Who is doing the oversight? Who is representing the voice and interests of the Iraqi people as opposed to the interests of the Bush Administration?

Don't tell me they don't have time to schedule and begin handing over the government when they had plenty of time to make oil deals and now this...if it has to do with their assets he's all over it.

And don't tell me they can't afford to wait because they need the money either...they've had obscene amounts of money to start reconstruction efforts and if they need even more they should be fired. How much money does it take to allow people to start choosing leaders and write out a new government?

Let's see a plan. We assumed they had one for post war planning and they didn't. Why isn't anyone asking for one now? The UN and the people of America and Iraq should all be demanding the administration present a plan with a timeframe and also some evidence things are moving in that direction. It must be something in writing because no one believes a word that they say.

Everyday things get more outrageous in every aspect of this whole fiasco. When is someone going to say ENOUGH?! Get Bush out of there...we are paying too heavy of a price not to make sure the job get's done and soon. Unilateral decisions are not the way this should be done. The UN is more competent and trustworthy at this point. If not them it has to be the Iraqi's. But this is a mess and it's only getting worse. excl.gif
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GoAmerica
post Sep 22 2003, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz @ Sep 22 2003, 07:45 AM)
Like this administration cares what the Turks (or anyone else) think?

I'm sure it does. I thihnk it wanted Turkey on board not just for the strategic value, but so in case the Kurds did start something, we can tighten the leash around the Turks' necks so we can make sure they don't get trigger happy like we did with Israel after Saddam fired Scuds at them during the 1st Gulf War
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turnea
post Sep 22 2003, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE(Wertz)
Like this administration cares what the Turks (or anyone else) think? And it's hardly likely that the US is going to start honoring promises made to other countries at this point in our history... 
 
The threat of hostilities between a Kurdish state and Turkey is a consideration, but would it be any worse than hostilities between Turkey and the Kurds in Iraq - on top of tensions between the Kurds and the rest of the Iraqi population?

1. It's not a matter of caring what the Turks think (in the practical sense), it's what the Turks might do that is worrisome. A major confrontation between Turkish and coalition forces (minor ones have already occurred) is something to be avoided. The Turks have suggested that they fear an independent Kurdish state more than a Kurdish territory in a greater Iraq. As for tension within the population, it occurs but it appears to be manageable (Mosul seems to be doing relatively well for such a large city in Iraq). If this tension is manageable it is best for Iraq to stay whole, that way the country as a whole has more resources: natural, cultural, and otherwise. Sectarian violence has been much lower than many people predicted, now is not the time to talk separation.

For heaven's sake Wertz, think of the children! crying.gif

Joke notice: The sentence above is a joke, not an actual argument. innocent.gif

QUOTE(Danya)
I think the concern is that we had scheduled elections and canceled them. We then CHOSE a council but they have little power over the problems in their own country. We then just recently chose about 20 more to lead ministries. Who knows if they've even begun yet. What we've done so far is put in place a very weak puppet government that is more a token symbol. 
 
I'm not sure what has to be done before we can start writing that constitution are starting elections. Are we waiting for security to improve? All of the electricity to come back? The entire infrastructure to be rebuilt? What's stopping them from announcing and implementing a plan to do something other than fail?

The elections were canceled precisely because the Governing Council was to be given control of the time line.
QUOTE
Iraq's interim government appoints 25-member team to draw up procedure to produce new constitution; new constitution is seen as cornerstone of democratic Iraq that American leaders overseeing occupation are trying to bring about; process, ultimately expected to lead to democratic elections

Iraqis Name Team to Devise Way to Draft Constitution
I posted a quote that said members of the council expect a constitution to be finished in a month or two. I believe the team to write it has already begun work. I'll find it if you think it's needed.

The point, of course, is that the Council is not a token symbol and that they are in charge of creating a legal infrastructure for elections.

QUOTE(Danya)
The audacity of deciding this without the Iraqi's being able to do or say a thing about it is just one of many indications that liberation is not the priority and all those people suspecting it was about profits...oil or otherwise...were right.

Didn't the article point out his was an announcement by the Iraqi finance minister, why would you claim the Iraqis had no say in it?
QUOTE
The American-backed administration in Iraq has announced sweeping economic reforms, including the sale of all state industries except for oil. 
 
The surprise announcement by Iraqi Finance Minister Kamel al-Kilani dominated the second day of meetings organised by the International Monetary Fund in Dubai. 
 
The recently-appointed minister unveiled a string of reforms that analysts said read like a manifesto devised by Washington, signing off 30 years of Saddam Hussein and the socialist Baath Party. 
 
Mr Kilani said liberalisation of foreign investment, the banking sector, taxes and tariffs would "significantly advance efforts to build a free and open market economy in Iraq".

Iraq adopts sweeping reforms
Note the article referrers to the "American-backed administration" as in the Governing council and its chosen ministers. Add in the fact that the oil industry remains state controlled and it's clear this is hardly evidence of a scam....

As for the intent of the French proposed plan, I think we can all agree that one month is far to little time to restore sovereignty to Iraq and expect any kind of stability. Why, then did the French Foreign Minister propose this? Clearly not for the wellbeing of Iraqis.... dry.gif

This post has been edited by turnea: Sep 22 2003, 03:40 PM
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Horyok
post Sep 22 2003, 09:04 PM
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Turnea, I suggest you switch to my thread about Chirac's opinions on the subject. You might find it useful for your understanding of the French plan.
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Danya
post Sep 22 2003, 11:31 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 22 2003, 07:35 AM)
The elections were canceled precisely because the Governing Council was to be given control of the time line.
Didn't the article point out his was an announcement by the Iraqi finance minister, why would you claim the Iraqis had no say in it? 

Note the article referrers to the "American-backed administration" as in the Governing council and its chosen ministers. Add in the fact that the oil industry remains state controlled and it's clear this is hardly evidence of a scam.... 

I'm talking about the first elections we promised them. I have to wonder if we had not broken that promise if they would have more patience and more trust that we will hand things over before the US has set it up without them. I know that I don't trust anything they say and they have even less reason to. From last June...
QUOTE
Saturday, June 28, 2003; Page A20
SAMARRA, Iraq -- U.S. military commanders have ordered a halt to local elections and self-rule in provincial cities and towns across Iraq, choosing instead to install their own handpicked mayors and administrators, many of whom are former Iraqi military leaders.

The decision to deny Iraqis a direct role in selecting municipal governments is creating anger and resentment among aspiring leaders and ordinary citizens, who say the U.S.-led occupation forces are not making good on their promise to bring greater freedom and democracy to a country dominated for three decades by Saddam Hussein.

The go-slow approach to representative government in at least a dozen provincial cities is especially frustrating to younger, middle-class professionals who say they want to help their communities emerge from postwar chaos and to let, as one put it, "Iraqis make decisions for Iraq."

*SNIP

"In Najaf last week, several hundred demonstrators took to the streets to demand elections and the removal of Mayor Abdul Munim Abud, a former artillery colonel. The protesters' banners read: "Canceled elections are evidence of bad intentions" and "O America, where are promises of freedom, elections, and democracy?"

At Friday prayers in Najaf, Sadr told the faithful at the shrine of Imam Ali, "I call for free elections that will represent all Iraqi opinion, far away from the influence of those who have intervened."
*SNIP

Butler said he sympathized with Iraqis who are upset over the cancellation of the elections. "We would like to see some kind of democratic system, too," he said. But for now, he said, the Iraqis need to be satisfied with "baby steps."

*SNIP

That is understandable, said Nabel Darwish Mohamed, the mayor of nearby Balad, who is a former colonel in the Iraqi police corps. "But the American soldiers must understand that security comes also from giving the people their own leaders, their own powers. That will calm things down, I think."

Mohammad added, "Fine, we embrace the Americans, we want to see the security. But we want them to move aside and let us have our own voices. We have waited a long time for this and we are growing tired of the waiting, okay?"
wp


QUOTE
Didn't the article point out his was an announcement by the Iraqi finance minister, why would you claim the Iraqis had no say in it? 


Again...the US appointed the people making these decisions. No constitutions and no elections. I do know all about one of the council who get's to speak for the Iraqi people. They all hate him, he was Wolfowitz pet replacement for Saddam, considered a crook by Iraqi's, hadn't been in the country for over 25 years before he told Washington everything it wanted to here true or false in order to get back in to Iraq and take his proper place. But yeah...I can see how much voice we're giving to the people and how they must be as happy with us as I thought.
QUOTE
Iraq was in effect put up for sale yesterday when the American-appointed administration announced it was opening up all sectors of the economy to foreign investors in a desperate attempt to deliver much-needed reconstruction against a daily backdrop of kidnappings, looting and violent death.

In an unexpected move unveiled at the meeting in Dubai of the Group of Seven rich nations, the Iraqi Governing Council announced sweeping reforms to allow total foreign ownership without the need for prior approval.

The initiative bore all the hallmarks of Washington's ascendant neoconservative lobby, complete with tax cuts and trade tariff rollbacks. It will apply to everything from industry to health and water, although not oil.

But it is still likely to feed concerns that Iraq is being turned into a golden opportunity for profiteering by multinational corporations relying on their political connections.
link

I can see already this is going to be the next word game issue. The Bush Administration will insist that the IRAQI FINANCE MINISTER approved it and announced it so you can't PROVE there was anything crooked. Ridiculous.
The article talks about why Bush decided to do the tax structure the way he did. He'll fix up their economy like he's done for America.
QUOTE
Wholesale privatisation is a dramatic departure from Saddam Hussein's centralised management of the Iraqi economy, which was reasonably successful in capitalising on the country's oil wealth to build modern hospitals, schools and other infrastructure, at least until the upheavals of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the 1991 Gulf War and the imposition of United Nations sanctions after that conflict.
One Arab expert said: "There's a fear that privatisation of too many things will lead to things being sold off for a mess of potage."

More sweeping changes. Now when all the unexpected stuff comes along there can be more chaos. Great plan. We are supposed to believe this is what Iraqi's want.
QUOTE
everything from industry to health and water

There are no protections or rules for the foreign buyers who get to take over the water and hospitals? How safe would you feel? Who do they go to if these buyers are not doing an adequate job? Does this mean Iraqi's are now going to have to pay for their water and health services after having it government funded for
decades? And what are they supposed to use for money if they have 60% unemployment? Is Haliburton and Bechtel going to give up their profitable jobs and give them to the Iraqi's? I don't think so. Are we, the taxpayers, going to pay for a scheme like this? Why, yes we will. We know the oil can't pay for 4-6 million people to get a welfare check.
QUOTE
Five months after the overthrow of Saddam, there are no visible signs of reconstruction. Clean water and electricity are still not available to most people and entire neighbourhoods are still without phone lines. Washington is desperately seeking help with footing the $100bn bill it estimates rebuilding Iraq will cost.

And why shouldn't the French trust Bush with money and troops from the UN? Look what a wonderful job he's doing after only 5 months and billions of dollars! And he's so great to work with, honest, open...No one in their right mind would send their troops to help and without knowing how he blew the last amount of money no one is going to hand him some more. But he's not serious about getting more from them...he knows he'll get what he wants from Congress and he doesn't want the UN nosing around. Besides...I don't think they really want more troops either. I keep reading about soldiers stuck in Kuwait just doing nothing but hitting someones quota. Weird. When he isn't serious about getting help from the UN it's you and I that will pay for it and he could care less. The Iraqi's have to pay for it too...by continued incompetence.

Isn't the country only as big as California but with only about 7 million people?

Since we already gave him $100b or so - and are set to give him $87b more - and nothing much has been done - and he is so desperate for MORE money he has to sell all of this off to the highest bidder might we get an accounting of where the money has gone so far? No...Bush doesn't answer to anyone. He's the new Iraq Dictator. king.gif
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turnea
post Sep 23 2003, 01:11 AM
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QUOTE(Danya @ Sep 22 2003, 06:31 PM)
I'm talking about the first elections we promised them.

So was I...
There were canceled to give the governing council a chance to organize a constitutional convention and receive its results. This last part is still in process.

QUOTE(Danya)
Again...the US appointed the people making these decisions. No constitutions and no elections.

Yes... because there is not yet a constitution there are no elections. Should there be an election without infrastructure? How exactly does that work, without a constitution? Voting is more complicated than handing out ballots as experience is the US has taught numerous times. Fair and democratic voice simply cannot be given to the people until a constitution is complete and elections occur, which will take time. (How long after the American revolution were the Articles of Confederation written? And you see how much good they did tongue.gif)

QUOTE(Danya)
I can see already this is going to be the next word game issue. The Bush Administration will insist that the IRAQI FINANCE MINISTER approved it and announced it so you can't PROVE there was anything crooked. Ridiculous.

... and what exactly is the evidence that the Iraqi Fiance Minister didn't approve of this decision. Surely your entire argument can't be based on the fact that it is what the administration would have wanted. huh.gif
QUOTE(Danya)
There are no protections or rules for the foreign buyers who get to take over the water and hospitals? How safe would you feel? Who do they go to if these buyers are not doing an adequate job? Does this mean Iraqi's are now going to have to pay for their water and health services after having it government funded for
decades?

It may mean just that when Iraqis are able to pay. Now, of course, no company could expect to make a profit relying only on the funds of common Iraqis. I would imagine the Coalition would fund this as long a needed...
QUOTE(Danya)
No one in their right mind would send their troops to help and without knowing how he blew the last amount of money no one is going to hand him some more.

The object of French objections to the sending of UN troops are (as they put it) the swiftness of Iraqi sovereignty, not one security council country (with the possible exception of the Arab countries, who wouldn't send troops anyway) is suggesting the US shouldn't is incompetent in its handling of troops.

Elections should not take place before a constitution is ratified, this cannot take place until the Governing Council's commission finishes its work. How exactly is this Bush's fault? Or more to the point of this thread, who's got a better idea?

This post has been edited by turnea: Sep 23 2003, 01:12 AM
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GoAmerica
post Sep 23 2003, 04:07 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 22 2003, 08:11 PM)
QUOTE(Danya @ Sep 22 2003, 06:31 PM)
I'm talking about the first elections we promised them.

So was I...
There were canceled to give the governing council a chance to organize a constitutional convention and receive its results. This last part is still in process.

I think Bush said something about, with the UN's help, getting together a constitution that will meet everyone's (iraqis) approval in the interview with Brit Hume tonight...i am not sure.

With the chaos currently in Iraq, elections would spur the terrorists and whoever else is against us in Iraq at polling places becuse we know how much those Saddam loyalists and terrorists HATE free elections where you don't get threatened to vote for someone (saddam's way of getting elected 100%)

QUOTE
QUOTE(Danya)
Again...the US appointed the people making these decisions. No constitutions and no elections.

Yes... because there is not yet a constitution there are no elections. Should there be an election without infrastructure? How exactly does that work, without a constitution? Voting is more complicated than handing out ballots as experience is the US has taught numerous times. Fair and democratic voice simply cannot be given to the people until a constitution is complete and elections occur, which will take time.


Another example of the "Get it done and get it done now, i don't care what the conditions are like" argument.


Danya:

QUOTE
No...Bush doesn't answer to anyone. He's the new Iraq Dictator. king.gif


Oh give me a break
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Ultimatejoe
post Sep 23 2003, 12:33 PM
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QUOTE
With the chaos currently in Iraq, elections would spur the terrorists and whoever else is against us in Iraq at polling places becuse we know how much those Saddam loyalists and terrorists HATE free elections where you don't get threatened to vote for someone (saddam's way of getting elected 100%)


So what you're saying is that even if the majority of Iraqis want elections, offering them would actually create MORE terrorism? Please explain how appeasing a population incites them to violence? Last time I checked most of the organized violence in Iraq is directed at the U.S. and the U.N., not the Iraqi populace. (Granted, infrastructure has been effected, but this is again designed to increase unrest with the occupational forces.)

What makes you think that terrorists would start blowing up Iraqis doing something that Iraqis want?
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GoAmerica
post Sep 23 2003, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Sep 23 2003, 07:33 AM)
QUOTE
With the chaos currently in Iraq, elections would spur the terrorists and whoever else is against us in Iraq at polling places becuse we know how much those Saddam loyalists and terrorists HATE free elections where you don't get threatened to vote for someone (saddam's way of getting elected 100%)


So what you're saying is that even if the majority of Iraqis want elections, offering them would actually create MORE terrorism? Please explain how appeasing a population incites them to violence?

What makes you think that terrorists would start blowing up Iraqis doing something that Iraqis want?

I have read in several articles on cnn.com of countries fearing violence round election time. Saddam has never been for free elections. If he knew he was gonna permanently be out of the picture because there is now an elected President, inciting violence at polling places would keep people from voting sbecause they would not want to be near areas of possible attacks. Saddam does not want to see a free Iraq. He wants to be in power again under a militrist law.
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Danya
post Sep 23 2003, 01:01 PM
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It looks like I was wrong about the Iraqi Governing Council. Not about them having no power...just about them being puppets. This was one smart move...looks like they can handle freedom and democracy sooner than Bush thought. cool.gif

And it looks like they think the French solution will work...they took it to Powell first but when he turned them down they went to France and Germany. This could get interesting. whistling.gif

QUOTE
By PATRICK E. TYLER


BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 21 In a 6,000-mile end run around American and British occupation authorities, leaders from the Iraqi Governing Council say they will go to Congress this week to argue that American taxpayers could save billions of dollars on Iraq's reconstruction by granting sovereignty more rapidly to the council, the 25-member interim government here.

In interviews, the Iraqi leaders said they planned to tell Congress about how the staff of L. Paul Bremer III, the American occupation administrator, sends its laundry to Kuwait, how it costs $20,000 a day to feed the Americans at Al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, how American contractors charge large premiums for working in Iraq and how, across the board, the overhead from supporting and protecting the large American and British presence here is less efficient than granting direct aid to Iraqi ministries that operate at a fraction of the cost.

"The Americans are spending money here to secure themselves at a rate that is two to three times what they are spending to secure the Iraqi people," said Ahmad al-Barak, a human rights lawyer and a member of the council. "It would be better for us if we would be in charge of how to spend this money and, of course, they could monitor how it is spent."


He estimated that in some cases the savings could be a factor of 10. "Where they spend $1 billion, we would spend $100 million," he said.

*snip


The council's maneuver to bypass Mr. Bremer, who has flown back to Washington for meetings this week, seemed bound to irritate and embarrass him. Council members said Mr. Bremer was not told in advance of the council's plans to send representatives to Washington.

Mr. Bremer has said the council is not yet ready to take on more governing responsibilities.
*snip

The council's end run reflects a political struggle between occupiers and the occupied that Iraqi officials say is inevitable and, so far, has not undermined the otherwise close working relationship that the council maintains with Mr. Bremer and his staff. But the good will is wearing thin as the interim Iraqi leaders, most of them from the opposition groups that helped persuade the Bush administration to topple Saddam Hussein, become increasingly frustrated with the deteriorating security in the country and the impatient expectations of Iraqis to see some fruits of what the United States calls their liberation.

*snip
"We don't want to antagonize the United States in any way, shape or form," Mr. Chalabi said before he departed this weekend. But at the same time, he said, the daily attacks on American troops, accidental shootings of Iraqis and an overall sense of instability threatens to undermine American support for a long-term commitment to the emergence of a democratic state in Iraq.

"If we get sovereignty, the first thing we will do is ask the Americans to stay," he said.

Also headed to Washington was Adnan Pachachi, who had unsuccessfully sought to persuade Secretary of State Colin L. Powell during a meeting in Geneva this month to endorse the council's bid for a new United Nations resolution ending the occupation and turning over sovereignty in the next few months.

Mr. Pachachi then took his draft elsewhere in Europe, where he found greater support among the French and Germans, who opposed the American invasion of Iraq. Though Bush administration officials were said by Iraqi leaders to resent their lobbying efforts, the Iraqis point out that President Jacques Chirac of France has modified his earlier proposal to turn over power in a matter of weeks something Mr. Powell dismissed as unworkable to a matter of months.

NYTIMES
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GoAmerica
post Sep 23 2003, 05:26 PM
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As much as i would like to see the Iraqi Governing Council be able to handle the challenges, they are not ready. There is still a great amount of basic needs work to be done before they can operate Iraq by themselves and their economy still needs to be bolstered to the point where the iraqis can carry on
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pheeler
post Sep 23 2003, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Sep 23 2003, 12:33 PM)
What makes you think that terrorists would start blowing up Iraqis doing something that Iraqis want?

The terrorists are already killing Iraqis. I just read a Newsweek article about the hundreds of unreported attacks on the freshly trained (yet dismally underequipped) Iraqi police force designated to guard government buildings. The terrorists are not acting on behalf of the will of the Iraqi majority, or else why would they be attacking the U.N. which most Iraqis see as neutral? I don't believe that the country is ready to hold free elections without our help yet. If we left them alone, the loyalists could certainly concentrate attacks which prevented those elections from happening, and another dictator could take power. That doesn't mean I support our continued unilateral control over the nation, but given the situation we are in now, we have to stay until an infrastructure has been built and a constitution has been drafted without our coaching. The last thing we should do is force Western ideology on Iraqis.

This post has been edited by pheeler: Sep 23 2003, 07:44 PM
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