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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Saddam Times Five

Brilliant:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...404311,00.html
Quote:
Iraqis call for five-man junta to end the anarchy

Marie Colvin
IRAQ’S fragile democracy, weakened by mounting chaos and a rapidly rising death toll, is being challenged by calls for the formation of a hardline “government of national salvation”. The proposal, which is being widely discussed in political and intelligence circles in Baghdad, is to replace the Shi’ite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, with a regime capable of imposing order and confronting the sectarian militias leading the country to the brink of civil war. Dr Saleh al-Mutlak, a prominent Sunni politician, travelled to Arab capitals last week seeking support for the replacement of the present government with a group of five strongmen who would impose martial law and either dissolve parliament or halt its participation in day-to-day government.
NI_MPU('middle');Other Iraqis dismissed the idea that a unilateral change in the leadership would be desirable or even possible. “The only person who can undertake a coup in Iraq now is General George Casey (the US commander) and I don’t think the Americans are inclined to go in that direction,” said Ahmed Chalabi, head of a rival political party.
Any suspension of the democratic process would be regarded as a severe blow to American and British policy.
The establishment of democracy has been its cornerstone and successful elections in December last year were hailed as a cause for optimism. However, Anthony Cordesman, an influential expert on Iraq at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said there was a “very real possibility” that Maliki could be toppled in the coming months.
“Nobody in Iraq has the military power to mount a traditional coup, but there could be a change in government, done in a backroom, which could see a general brought in to run the ministry of defence or the interior,” Cordesman said.
“It could be regarded as a more legitimate government than the present one as long it doesn’t favour one faction.”
This weekend Mutlak, who leads the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, the fifth largest political group in the national assembly, vowed to press ahead with his plans.. “We think Iraq is now in a tragic state,” he said.
“Maliki must step down. He has done nothing up to now. Hundreds of Iraqis are being killed almost daily and thousands are being removed from their homes in sectarian purges, and he takes no action.”
The main focus of a new regime, Mutlak said, would be to bring security back to Iraq by “cleaning out” the ministries of defence and the interior, widely seen as having been infiltrated by sectarian militias. He said he had the support of four other parties including al-Fadila, a Shi’ite party based in Basra.
Mutlak’s proposal is evidence of increasing frustration with Maliki who has failed to stop violence and to revive the economy.
Last week Iraqi officials estimated that up to 100 people, mostly civilians, were being murdered every day.
Yesterday’s grim reports included the discovery of seven headless bodies north of Baghdad. They were among 17 Shi’ite construction workers kidnapped last Thursday, apparently in retaliation for the burning of three Sunnis the previous day.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 07:15 PM
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History teaches us that the establishment of a temporary dictatorship to last only long enough to address a given crisis turns eventually into a permanent dictatorship.

I’m not saying it’s a bad idea – any new course of action is better than remaining adrift as we are now – but we’d have to give up any idea of there being actual Western-style democracy anytime soon in Iraq.

As with Afghanistan I advocated the partition of Iraq into three autonomous states. They would be independent and self-governing, including their own military and monetary system. The three states would exist in a very loose Federation whose only real function would be to ensure fair management and distribution of the oil reserves and revenue from those reserves.

Needless to say none of this will happen, as noted in the article any change in the current situation would need Washington’s approval. The Bush Administration will not authorize any change of any kind, as it would be feared by the Administration that it is admitting the war was a mistake or that its handling of post-war Iraq is a failure.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 07:24 PM
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Careful with that historical precedent.

Argentina and Greece both had episodes of dictatorship followed by peaceful transfer of power to democracy. In the modern era, especially in the Latin American countries, this is a not uncommon phenomenon.

B
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Botnst
Careful with that historical precedent.

Argentina and Greece both had episodes of dictatorship followed by peaceful transfer of power to democracy. In the modern era, especially in the Latin American countries, this is a not uncommon phenomenon.

B
Ah, is Argentina included in your model?
Edit: I see you answered it, let me rephrase, was it worth it?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Professor
Ah, is Argentina included in your model?
Edit: I see you answered it, let me rephrase, was it worth it?

That would be a difficult question to answer. I lived there during part of the dirty war, (really an inter-generational war, IMO, but that's for another thread).

Folks I knew at that time were grateful for the military dictatorship. The commies had been dynamiting civilians in shopping malls and banks and so forth. The civil authorities decided that they could not address the problem using civil law so they voted to dissolve their government and give control to the military. When I was there (early 1980's) a lot of people were having 2nd thoughts--whispers of the desaparecidos was beginning, the economy was in a shambles and the dumbass freaking generals tried to externalize the threat by developing a war with England (too bad they were apparently unfamiliar with English history--a lesson learned by a whole lot of folks around the world).

The people I worked with were working-class (oil exploration for an Argentine-American consortium). By chance I was befriended by some folks that ran Occidental Petroleum and also BJ Services in Argentina. I also have relatives in Argentina and Uruguay. To them, the internal threat was real and bloody. Here's the key thing that I learned while I was there: The people had lost faith in the ability of the civilian government, much as the Romans lost faith in their Republic and welcomed Caesar. The overwhelming majority of Argentineans welcomed the dictatorship. It was only much later that they developed a conscience and expressed regrets for the undeniable excesses perpetrated by the military in hunting-down the commie terrorists. That regret is what toppled the dictatorship. It was not the inflation and it was not the horrible Falklands disaster.

Remember that the military dictatorship voluntarily dissolved itself. It could have stayed in power the traditional way of dictatorships, but did not.

Other exceptions to the supposition of not returning to civil rule were in Peru and in Uruguay. Also Chile. In each case there were some similarities and also some differences. I don't think that one could reasonably generalize a model from these different countries.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 08:05 PM
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time to re-install uncle saddam.



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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mzsmbs
time to re-install uncle saddam.
Might want to reread my last sentence.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 08:28 PM
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my comment had nothing to do with your post.. just a general statement related to the original post.



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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mzsmbs
my comment had nothing to do with your post.. just a general statement related to the original post.
Oh, then you might want to read my entire post.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 08:34 PM
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^^But generalizing is so much fun and it is easy too!^^ Of course so is losing...
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