Iraq going down the john?





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Iraq going down the john?
By Vancat (Vancat) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:45 pm: Edit

Unofficial survey here:

How long until Iraq creates a stable and viable economy, government, and society?

Never?
5-10 years?
10-50 years?
50-100 years?

SImple answer is all thats required, don't start typing long ass messages.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:54 pm: Edit

50 years

By Steveruleworld (Steveruleworld) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit

i'd say give it 10 years

By Vancat (Vancat) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit

I'm shooting for 10-20 years. Give or take

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

I'd say 10 years. Look at what happened with us, we had a long revolution, rebellions, a long civil war, and more to get where we are today.
The economy there has improved a lot already. Unemployemnt dropping from 70% in 2000 to 30% now. They had no representation before, they will have elections soon. With all the oil they have, it will not be hard to fund things. The biggest problem is the divisions, since it is such a diverse country with shiites, sunnies, kurds, catholics, christians, and others.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 04:44 pm: Edit

They are a lot more diverse than we ever were. Also take into account that a middle eastern dictatorship and a westernized democracy are like polar opposites. It is an extreme, unusual, and even in some cases unwanted change to the Iraqi people

My reason for saying 50 years is because I don't think this generation of Iraqis will ever adapt to the change. The next generation (their kids when they become adults and have kids of their own) will be more accustomed to it

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 04:57 pm: Edit

A very, very long time.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 05:07 pm: Edit

EDIT: I misread Jlq3d3's post.

By Lucifersam (Lucifersam) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 05:10 pm: Edit

More than 50 years. And in my opinion, they WON'T have much oil very soon.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 05:26 pm: Edit

It's better for a developing country to not have any natural resources so they won't get screwed by the rest of the world (look at Costa Rica). Since Iraq does have natural resources, they are looking at an indefinite amount of time ... the last post just made me think of it.

By Savedbythebell7 (Savedbythebell7) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 07:21 pm: Edit

I'm thinking about buying a 5 million dollar castle in iraq for about 300k...then holding it for a while.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit

lol what happens when it gets blown up

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 09:05 pm: Edit

Indeterminate, subject to external events.

One thing that has become painfully clear is that the Bush/Cheney administration had no plan worth the name for a post-conflict Iraq.

As for the future Iraqi government being stable, democratic, and pro-American...choose any two.

The major ethno-religious puzzle pieces of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd do not fit together well and there's little prospect for harmony. The scorecard: the Shiites have been oppressed for decades and half of them are in sympathy with the ayahtollahs and hardliners in Iran; they constitute 60 percent of the population and are being mostly client because the "democratic" road that Iraq is currently on is going to drop power right into their laps...why upset the apple cart?
The Sunnis fear trading clothes with the Shiites and being Oppressed instead of Oppressor. The religious differences are not like those between, say, Baptist and Catholic in this country...it's a blood sport that people are willing to die for. Moreover, the Sunnis were Saddam's people and there's going to be continuing ferment to reimplement Baathist rule. Then my favorites, the Kurds, the one group that has democratic ideals but has been diddled by the West several times in the past. They're worried about being diddled yet again, this time by the US willing to sell them out in exchange for a quiet Shiite majority. If I were them, I'd worry too.

As for democracy in Iraq, the history of post-colonial Africa is instructive: one man, one vote, once.

By Devious (Devious) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit

"The major ethno-religious puzzle pieces of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd do not fit together well and there's little prospect for harmony."

I'd like to disagree. I'm a Sunni Iraqi, and I get along just fine with Kurds and Shiites. So does the vast majority of other Iraqis. This whole "incompatibility" thing is just a myth.

"the Shiites have been oppressed for decades and half of them are in sympathy with the ayahtollahs and hardliners in Iran"

The only reason they seem to be connected to Irani ayatollahs is because the two prominent Iraqi Shiite clerics, al-Sistani and al-Hakeem, are Iranis. Now, take al-Sadr. He's Iraqi, and he's made a lot of statements asking Iran to stop meddling in Iraq's affairs.

"The Sunnis fear trading clothes with the Shiites and being Oppressed instead of Oppressor. The religious differences are not like those between, say, Baptist and Catholic in this country...it's a blood sport that people are willing to die for. Moreover, the Sunnis were Saddam's people and there's going to be continuing ferment to reimplement Baathist rule."

Not really.

Answering the original question: I'd say some 10-25 years.

By Coqui (Coqui) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 12:04 am: Edit

522.67 years, give or take a few day's

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:33 am: Edit

Devious, we'll see: I bet that Iraqi factionalism will be expressed by bomb and gun for the next five years at the minimum.

How do you feel about an autonomous Kurdish homeland? The status of Mosul?

By Devious (Devious) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 03:21 am: Edit

I'm indifferent about forming a Kurdish autonomy, although I think it's unnecessary.

Mosul is currently a touchy subject. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 09:06 am: Edit

One of the problems that is inherent in the Iraq area is the factionalism that was built into the territory when it was parcelled out by the British.

It is a country that was engineered to fail.

The Brits (and other European nations) followed a strategy, upon pulling out of a number of the imperialist domains they managed in the 18th and 19th century, of delineating borders that ensured instability in the countries they formed. You can see the results of this in the friction between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, and in Israel/Palestine as well.

The idea, I think was that unstable countries would be easier to contain and economically exploit than stable, flourishing democracies/monarchies.

If you think I'm cynical, take a look at history and give me another reason.

I'd love Thedad's take on this, if he's out there, since he's the uber-smartie here. :)

By Simba (Simba) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 10:40 am: Edit

Noodleman: as a south asian, I could have written exactly what you wrote.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit

:)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 05:06 pm: Edit

Mosul is a touchy subject but it can't be ducked: it was "Arabized" under Hussein with Kurds being ethnically cleansed and is now in a state of flux as the Kurds are returning and evicting the Arabs who came and took over their property. What should be done? On a related note, should changes to the Iraqi constitution be subject to the veto of any three provinces? N.B., the Kurds control three provinces.

On another note, surveys show that only a quarter or so of Iraqis seek what we in the US would recognize as a secular pluralistic government. The majority want some form of Sharia-based law, inherently anti-democratic, though *which* interpretation of Sharia is up for grabs. Another touchy subject I suppose. But which is it to be: pluralistic and secular or Sharia-based? If the latter, under what form?


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