Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by caulfield2, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member


    So how are all the "Czech Republicans" handling the advent of the new "Democratic Congress"?

    Of course, there was a Democratic Congress from most of the time period from World War II through 1994, when Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America appeared on the scene.

    And, by and large, the majority of presidents during that time, with the exception of Carter for four years and Clinton for eight, have been Republicans. So back to divided government, vetos and "gridlock" as we know and love it.

    Any reaction to the Rumsfield departure? Does anyone in Europe believe Iraq can ever become a democracy (let alone a "true" democracy" when the Shiites are persecuting the formerly majority Sunni and disenfranchising them from any role in the new government?

    Was the war in Iraq a big issue in Michigan, corruption/scandal, the economy/jobs, immigration???
  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    caulfield2, I think your post should be moved to off-topic. It really has nothing to do with Borat.
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I agree. So here's the new thread.

    Anyway, just my two cents:

    How about Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson? By my count, by the end of Bush, Jr.'s second term, the breakdown by years in the presidency will be 28 yrs. Democrat (44%), 36 years Republican (56%). Anyway, we'll see soon enough whether or not we're back to gridlock.

    As for issues, Iraq and the economy seemed to be the big ones here in NY. No one seemed to want to touch immigration.

    Somewhat unrelated to the rest of the post, but anyway I assumed that you meant the Sunnis were in the "majority" in the sense of governing (they never have been in terms of population). The whole Shia-Sunni conflict dates back a while, so no I have no idea if/how they can resolve this. The problem as I it, however, largely hinges around a small minority unwilling to give ground at all, and willing to kill/maim anyone (including bystanders) who are in their way. This seems to be largely what is stirring up the older conflict, and unless it ends, this mess will never be resolved (at least the Republicans and Democrats aren't shooting at each other).

    As for the more general question of whether or not the Iraqis are ready for democracy (even in the nonliteral sense), I don't know what to think. I've had this conversation with my Ukrainian office mate a few times, and his thought is that they are not ready. I haven't come to any conclusions as yet, as the ongoing car bombings, occupation, etc. are muddying the issue in my mind.
  4. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    They need to solve the security issue, and that's going to be difficult because the majority of Baath party leaders are/were Sunnis, and they were carved out of leadership roles.

    It's not unlike saying the 35% of Americans who are non-Christian can have a dictatorship for 30 years...then turning things back over to the Christians at the end of that time. The Sunnis are under attack, not only from within the country, the US and coalition troops, but also Syria and Iran. You have Iran providing more deadly IED's to the miltias...technically, we should be going to war against Iran too, but we simply cannot because we're spread too thinly.

    We need to turn the US soldiers, former Iraq soldiers and anyone who needs a job (50% unemployment) over to a CCC program to rebuild the electricity capacity, sewage systems and water treatment facilities. Baghdad (outside of the Green Zone) hasn't had 24 hour continuous power for the last 3-4 years, or even going back to 1991 when our missiles damaged their plants.

    35 of their 48 factories were government owned and subsidized (ala Stalin's plans, to create profitability with Enron like tactics, inflating the currency values 3000% to make the books look good)...and you can't privatize them, because it's too dangerous...nobody can go in right now.

    Half the teachers and professors were fired because they were Baath Party members as well. There's simply no leadership to fill the gap...it's not unlike the 20's and 30's when Stalin wiped out all of his primary opponent.

    The best hope is the new leader working together with Ayatollah al-Sistani. I think they will have to do an India/Pakistan move...partitioning the country into three separation sections....Sunni, Kurd and Shiite.

    30% of our budget is now going to Iraq, around $100 billion per year. We cannot sustain this...and we're terribly vulnerable and spread too thinly, not able to deal effectively with North Korea, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. Then you have al-Zarqawi running around fomenting civil war with the al-Queda part of the insurgency.

    Hopefully diplomacy and negotiation (Bush 41's tact) will hold sway over ideology and unilateralism. Simply, we cannot continue to go it alone. James Baker is probably the only person that can figure out a way to escape from this mess.

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