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Old 01-11-2007, 04:34 PM   #60
Jae Onasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And in a case where a person is accused of crimes under international law, a court of international law is the only suitable place to try them.
I'll agree with you on that--it would have been more fair, or at least less biased, though I still think the verdict would have been 'guilty'. Whether they would have executed him or not is a different story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
But the idea that a massive war between Sunni and Shia is about to spontaneously and suddenly kick off would seem to be neoconservative propaganda.
They've been fighting, to varying degrees, for a long time. It's nothing new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Jae, these are all lovely, lovely suggestions. They really would be great things to happen. And I for one wish fervently that they COULD happen.
It was rather an exercise in "How to Fix Iraq if Politics and Finances Were Not an Issue". Well, we can always hope that some of those things will happen, at least. I never said it would happen, but it'd be nice if it did. Unfortunately, what we should do and what we are able to do (and what we choose to do) are entirely different things. Americans aren't too excited about paying more in taxes for anything Iraq-related, regardless of our responsibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And then we misplaced a huge chunk of that already paltry amount of money.
While I don't disagree that money can/has disappeared into the DoD black hole, what specifically are you refering to?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
So though I wish we could do better, I doubt we will. So we must come to the conclusion: The US and the UK are simply unwilling to financially affect our own nations by pouring cash into Iraq... and we would only squander it on spurious corporate contracts and local cliquery if we did.
Heh, we've both reached the point of cynicism on this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
(with some snippage)
Jae, what you typed was:
"religion drives politics there as much as, if not more than, nationality."

And since we were discussing insurgents in Iraq at the time, it is reasonable to assume that you were referring to Iraq. Hence, my rebuttals citing some small samples of the VAST quantities of evidence to show that nationalist concerns outweighed any religious concerns in Iraq throughout recent history.
The discussion for several posts prior to mine was about Iranian agents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Neoconservatives like to parrot the nonsense that Sunni and Shia always were at each others' throats... but under Saddam's regime relations between the two were actually quite good, comparitively speaking.

So I have to say once again, if you feel I've misconstrued your intent, that's unfortunate. But I really think it's an issue of your clarity rather than of my comprehension.
Under Saddam's regime, the Shi'a didn't dare fight the Sunnis/Baathists, or they ended up in mass graves or as targets/amusements for Saddam & Sons. Saddam quelled the violence temporarily, but the underlying differences remained. If he'd been entirely successful at getting the 2 groups to get along like brothers and sisters and resolve all their problems, there wouldn't be major unrest and fighting right now. There wouldn't have been a hornet's nest for the US/UK to stir up in the first place.

If you read something that you think has more than one possible interpretation, it's appropriate to ask the writer to clarify ("Are you meaning just these 2 things in relation to each other, or are you implying that religion is the most important factor in determining Middle Eastern politics?") and then base your opinion on that. If you had asked that, I would have specified that I was not implying religion was the ultimate determining factor and further commented "Good heavens, it's oil (and control of it) that's king in the Middle East...." My sentence actually was very precise, but apparently the question you had in mind reading it was scope of application. Without the visual cues from body language, it does make communication (both sending and receiving) more challenging. We'd probably be a lot better off if we could actually see each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Religion is not a driving factor in the major conflicts we've been discussing, however, and it's very rarely a driving factor in any major policy decisions.
Are you applying this broadly to the Middle East or more narrowly to just Iraq? If broadly, I'd point out that Sharia law has a significant impact on policy decisions in those countries where it is in effect. As far as the world community is concerned, no, it's not nearly as influential.
If in reference only to Iraq, religion is a factor in that it was responsible for creating at least 2 of the political entities that currently exist there. The problem of dealing with the differences between the groups is likely going to require some kind of a religious component as part of the solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
For appropriate representation, it would be far better if each group just had its own country. Given how they have separate languages, cultures, histories and all those traits, that's more than enough justification for giving each one its own country. They all want it that way, anyhow.
Unfortunately, the oil in Iraq isn't distributed in equal amounts. The greatest number of oil fields are in the southern, Shi'a controlled region. If that were made into its own country, the other 2 major groups would have far less oil revenue, and the Kurds and Sunnis would be land-locked. While being land-locked isn't as big an issue now with modern transportation, it's always nice to have a seaport anyway. The Kurds might be happy to have their own country (they do have some producing oil fields), but it's doubtful the Sunnis would want to break off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Of course, there must be a reason the UN should support such an expensive venture. Doesn't that sound rather idealistic?
Sure, it's terribly idealistic. The thread title asked 'What now?', and I answered with a solution. Now if you're asking for a realistic solution, that's a lot harder, and it's going to depend on how much the US, UK, and the rest of the world is willing to put out to help them get back on their feet.


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