Are the British efficient in establishing of democracy?

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4347636.stm

Local people say three female students at Basra University have been killed for failing to cover themselves in the black abaya and hijab.
...
As the police stood by, the gunmen ripped the blouse from one woman, leaving her half-naked. Two male students who went to help her were shot.

The militia filmed all this, concentrating on the woman's humiliation; she was later said to have committed suicide.
Such events were unthinkable under Saddam rule. It appears that British presence in Iraq is rather formal.

One of the few who does not mind being named, Professor Adel al Thamary of Basra University, told me:

"All in all, our life is worse than when we used to live under Saddam because now we are under fire. Now we can be killed any time on the streets."

The British Army's response is that what happens on the campus of Basra University is a matter for the Iraqi authorities.
In this case what is the reason for the British to stay?

"The miserable thing is that the British forces were just watching all this. They let the militia destroy the rule of law here."

These were Britain's friends in Basra but they could hardly contain their bitterness.

"The British Army handed the city to the Islamist groups as a gift," one human rights campaigner said.

"People are even saying bring the Americans here. Some people actually want the Americans instead.
Meanwhile

Through binoculars, the British soldiers watched the voting.
 
#2
Look at it another way ... it took Saddam, a cadre of ruthless murderers and a lot of corpses to impose a secular Western veneer on Iraq. What chance have we got ?
 
#3
One_of_the_strange said:
Look at it another way ... it took Saddam, a cadre of ruthless murderers and a lot of corpses to impose a secular Western veneer on Iraq. What chance have we got ?
I'm sure that true democracy is impossible in uneducated country. Future of Iraq depends on young generation - carriers of ideals of freedom and human rights. So these cruel attacks of harcore islamists against Iraqi students are really even more dangerous than terror acts commited by insurgents.

What is a possible solution? First of all, there should be a clear declaration that such acts of barbarism are absolutely anacceptable, that if Iraqi police doesn't detain those who are guilty then it would be done by the British.

I'm disappointed by statements like 'it is not our business'. So one can ask a natural question: what is the objective of the British in Iraq? Establishing of democracy, defending of human rights or what?
 
#4
If I ever find out what our objectives are I'll let you know - and I wish I was joking. First it was WMD - but we couldn't find any. Then it was to enable the locals to rebuild and so forth. And they are. It's just that they're going back centuries into the past to do it. So now we start banging on about human rights and so on - but we do not possess a fraction of the troops necessary to enforce such rights. And as I said before, we'd have to act like Saddam to go back to the Westernised society he aimed for.

The alternative explanation is that our objectives were whatever Bush told Blair they were. Either way, the whole damn lot of them aren't worth one soldiers life. Pull out and let them get on with it, I say.
 
#5
Are the British efficient in establishing of democracy?
Two words: Welsh Assembly. :evil:
 
#6
KGB_resident said:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4347636.stm

Local people say three female students at Basra University have been killed for failing to cover themselves in the black abaya and hijab.
...
As the police stood by, the gunmen ripped the blouse from one woman, leaving her half-naked. Two male students who went to help her were shot.

The militia filmed all this, concentrating on the woman's humiliation; she was later said to have committed suicide.
Such events were unthinkable under Saddam rule. It appears that British presence in Iraq is rather formal.

One of the few who does not mind being named, Professor Adel al Thamary of Basra University, told me:

"All in all, our life is worse than when we used to live under Saddam because now we are under fire. Now we can be killed any time on the streets."

The British Army's response is that what happens on the campus of Basra University is a matter for the Iraqi authorities.
In this case what is the reason for the British to stay?

"The miserable thing is that the British forces were just watching all this. They let the militia destroy the rule of law here."

These were Britain's friends in Basra but they could hardly contain their bitterness.

"The British Army handed the city to the Islamist groups as a gift," one human rights campaigner said.

"People are even saying bring the Americans here. Some people actually want the Americans instead.
Meanwhile

Through binoculars, the British soldiers watched the voting.
Unlike Russian attempts in some countries past and present.
 
#7
In all seriousness Sergey, you make a pretty good point. I'm not sure anyone has really got this nation-building lark figured out properly. Look at all the thriving democracies that were set up in during decolonization of the British Empire. For democracy to thrive you need a lot more than an educated, enlightened elite. You require a political culture that is accustomed to the idea of democracy. The sad fact is that for some strange reason, people generally aren't very good at learning from the mistakes of others and are determined to find out the hard way.

In most stable democracies, the process tends to be one of evolution, rather than revolution and even then things can get rather 'interesting'. What makes matters worse, in terms of democratising the Middle East especially, is the lack of a compatible framework for democracy within the intellectual traditins of the Middle East, coupled with a legacy of 500 or so years of Imperial dominance, followed by the imposition of local hard men to run the shop.

What needs to be done is to try and instill liberal ideas within an Islamic framework. The two are by no means incompatible, it's just that many of Islams teachings that are consonant with liberal ideas are marginalised, manipulated or just conveniently ignored.
If you are interested this idea, I would recommend a book by Reza Aslan called "No God, but God", which seeks to explore some of the miperceptions within Islamic teaching, as well as mispercetions of Islam by outsiders.
 
#8
Hat20 said:
Unlike Russian attempts in some countries past and present.
Only now, weak and fragile Russian democracy is emerging. So it is impossible even in theory to establish democracy anywhere because Soviet Union was not a democratic country and modern Russia has itself much to do to establish democracy at home.

By contrast the UK openly declares a democracy in Iraq as a goal. But real actions (or rather passiveness) are in contradiction with noble intentions. Do you agree with me?
 
#9
I think you're spot on there Sergey. Current UK policy - or should I say current US policy as I can't see any evidence of independent UK input - is wholly at odds with our actions. Osama bin Laden (remember him ?) and Al Qaeda use the hypocrisy of the West as one of the main planks of their manifesto. Our actions in Iraq do nothing but confirm this in the minds of those we need to influence to win this conflict. The Americans think that as long as the US public think it's OK then no other form of public opinion matters - and then turn round amazed that it doesn't play well anywhere else in the world. We I think are more realistic but only in private, wouldn't want to go off message now would we.
 
#10
Compared to other countries i think the UK comes out pretty well historically. In fact i'd say it comes out on top.

Iraq is a case of 'You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink' . I like what crab said about the process being one of evolution rather than revolution and Iraq IMO has quite a lot of evolving ahead of it.
 
#11
One_of_the_strange said:
Current UK policy - or should I say current US policy...
What would our American friends do in this situation (I mean this horrible tragedy in university of Basra)? No doubt they would do at least anything. Moreover I'm sure that they punish all criminals/terrorists/murderers involved. There would be a strong signal to the militia. And I think that everybody (no matter supporter of the war or not) would regard such actions as right and lawful.

I think that it is a very important task to force leaders of the militia to recognise wrongdoings, they should promiss to stop this barbarism. And it is not a question of American policy, it is up to the British to do the job (that as we know has not been done yet).

As to the role of the UK in promotion of democracy worldwide, then I don't mean to diminish it.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top