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View Poll Results: Is George W. Bush to thank for democracy in the Middle-East?

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  • Yes, I think the war in Iraq made revolution possible.

    1 5.26%
  • No!

    16 84.21%
  • Not sure...

    2 10.53%
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Thread: George W. Bush a great man?

  1. #1
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    George W. Bush a great man?



    With potential democratic revolution sweeping across the arab world is Gerorge W. Bush to thank?

    Would any of this have been possible without the war in Iraq and the fall of Sadam Hussain?

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    The overthrow of Saddam Hussein was undoubtedly a blow to Baathism, and Baathism stood opposed to the typical ideals of the current protesters. But to say that the War in Iraq contributed directly to the current protests is stretching it. How much influence can we really say Saddam Hussein had on Tunisia? I think very little.

    And even if we determined that the War in Iraq caused the current protests--how does that make Bush a great man? The War in Iraq would still be a mistake, in my estimation. Although granting a certain amount of political freedoms to Shia and Kurds, it has resulted in destabilization in the region, and cost the US money, status, and lives. And even the recent changes in the Middle East have not been all positive... unless you think Hezbollah are more friendly than the Future Movement.

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    I wish I had a greater experience of the Arab world, and I have pushed forward my plans of studying the language and travel with it, I fear I will never do it.

    But no, I don't think that the Iraq war or the war in Afghanistan helped democracy or made a butterfly effect into the current riots in the Arab countries. It seemed to me it actually seemed to lessen the animosity otherwise felt against Hussein, making him looking more like a martyr and a victim than the monster he was. The war with Iran was backed by the US with weapons, finance and policy for Iraq and the regime. The sudden turn when that failed war lead to Iraq invading Kuwait, the following two wars against same Iraq and regime - with the circus of sanctions that only served to strengthen the regime - was responsible for a huge amount of dead citizens. I am not saying Iraq was better off with Hussein in power, but that I am unsure the price was worth to pay.

    It seems to me that public tension and anger against the regimes of these countries seem to have been simmering for a very long time. It took a spark in one country to make an explosion throughout the Arab world. But I think if any one aspect should be considered making a profound difference, I think it is that we live in a far more transparent world today than earlier, considering the inflow of information through the internet and travel as well as the difficulty of the regimes to keep information in. Cause here and now, as always, the ones making the difference and change are the young people; the ones that doesn't know better and have little to lose. My thoughts.

    Send some roses to Tim Berners-Lee and CERN.
    Last edited by Michael Folkesson; 22-02-11 at 20:58. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Folkesson View Post
    I think it is that we live in a far more transparent world today than earlier, considering the inflow of information through the internet and travel as well as the difficulty of the regimes to keep information in.
    It's a good point, it's very easy to forget that the free flow of information we have today is very new. Already we take for granted the new possibilities and radical changes it brings with it.

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    I really wanted to believe that current ant-regime revolts are caused by political movements. It would be great and uplifting, but these are my personal feelings a freedom fighter.

    History is teaching us that usually it is not the case. To get nation to stand up against autocrats surrounded by police and army, takes something more prosaic like hunger, pain, and anger. Democracy and freedoms are nice, but there is no popular revolution and sacrificing one’s life for it, at least for overwhelming majority of folks.

    What all these Middle Eastern countries had in common is a big population spurt of last decades. In Egypt in last 30 years population doubled from 40 to 80 million. 70% of demographics is under age of 35. Situation is the same all over the region. You have millions upon millions of young people with nothing to do. Give them any reason to fight and you have an army. The ubiquitous TV and Internet did the trick too, showing them how young people live in first world and what they’re missing.
    Granted, there was an economic progress in Middle East and Saharan Africa and lives got somewhat better during last economic boom. The problem was that population growth outpaced economy and creation of new work places. It’s really not good if 50% of young people are unemployed. All of this was brewing for years waiting for a moment to show its ugly face.
    The only real question is "why now?"
    I think the starting point was recent rise in food prices. In many of these countries governments subsidize many basic articles, like bread and gasoline. The current recession made holes in budgets of every country, Middle East and Africa wasn't immune. Governments lacking founds had to cut on what they subsidized or had to raise prices for these items, plus generally food became more expensive around the world. And here we go:

    - army of unemployed young people
    - expensive food, hungry families
    - knowlage what they missing to first world, TV, Internet
    - tribal and religious prosecutions and discriminations
    - political forces trying to take over the power
    - lack of freedoms ….................................and democracy
    - someone said “It’s time, let’s go…”


    If it comes to Bush, I think he was a romantic with lack of common sense. He’s vision included democracy for Middle East, but we are yet to see one fully working democracy there. Till then we are not even sure if any of these countries can manage running democratic system with all the political foundations, infrastructure, institutions, and overall will improve lives of their citizens with it.
    I wish them well, but I have to see to believe.

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    Originally the reason given for the invasion of Iraq was to find WMD, it was only after this proved to be false that the democracy angle was pushed for all it was worth. So no, I don't believe George Bush's Iraq policy is the reason for today's unrest, it is the natural reaction by populations fed up with decades of oppression and corrupt rule.

    The oppressed will always rebel, history teaches us that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Folkesson View Post
    I wish I had a greater experience of the Arab world, and I have pushed forward my plans of studying the language and travel with it, I fear I will never do it.

    But no, I don't think that the Iraq war or the war in Afghanistan helped democracy or made a butterfly effect into the current riots in the Arab countries. It seemed to me it actually seemed to lessen the animosity otherwise felt against Hussein, making him looking more like a martyr and a victim than the monster he was. The war with Iran was backed by the US with weapons, finance and policy for Iraq and the regime. The sudden turn when that failed war lead to Iraq invading Kuwait, the following two wars against same Iraq and regime - with the circus of sanctions that only served to strengthen the regime - was responsible for a huge amount of dead citizens. I am not saying Iraq was better off with Hussein in power, but that I am unsure the price was worth to pay.

    It seems to me that public tension and anger against the regimes of these countries seem to have been simmering for a very long time. It took a spark in one country to make an explosion throughout the Arab world. But I think if any one aspect should be considered making a profound difference, I think it is that we live in a far more transparent world today than earlier, considering the inflow of information through the internet and travel as well as the difficulty of the regimes to keep information in. Cause here and nos, as always, the ones making the difference and change are the young people; the ones that doesn't know better and has little to lose. My thoughts.

    .
    I share completedly the ideas of Michael Folkersson.

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    It's hard to link Bush's name with democracy somehow.

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    Bush is a first class lunatic.

    I don't believe in an honest government in the USA.
    Companies govern that country for already 60 years.

    And I don't believe the unrest in the Arab world is spontaneous.
    I guess the CIA and other agents are involved.

    People around the Mediterranean are usually very friendly people.
    Too kind to start a revolution, because there is a revolution in another country.
    It's all staged and cooked!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    I don't believe in an honest government in the USA.
    Companies govern that country for already 60 years.
    I initially felt hostile to this point... I think the US government has a lot more control over itself than you're giving it credit for... but you're on somewhat the right track when it comes to foreign policy. Eisenhower famously noted that we have a problem in this country with our military-industrial complex.


    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    And I don't believe the unrest in the Arab world is spontaneous.
    I guess the CIA and other agents are involved.
    The CIA was okay with Mubarak, and probably didn't even see his ouster coming. Not to mention that there is no way they are happy with how things have unfolded in Lebanon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post

    I don't believe in an honest government in the USA.
    Companies govern that country for already 60 years.
    !
    Only 60 years?! You left out the coal, railroad, steel and oil barons.

    Even an obviously proud American like me would admit that business influences have been stronger than I would want for quite a while.

    Careful, you're treading dangerously close to being pro-US.


    For the record, I abstained from the poll since I felt it was intended for a European audience.

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    Well.. We learned some lessons from what it is to live under the dictatorship of the German Nazi's, from 1940-1944.

    Lesson 1
    If you want to resist an enemy, you can't talk about it. You can't trust anyone.

    Lesson 2
    You may take the risk of contacting another freedom fighter you trust.
    Only one!

    Lesson 3
    If your friend knows another friend, you don't want to know about it!
    A problem is, you have to trust your friend he doesn't tell about you.

    Lesson 4
    In that way resistance cells are formed. You get orders for some action, and you simply carry them out.

    Lesson 5 The crucial one:
    You don't know who controls the cells. Maybe it's even the enemy.

    ---------------

    I can think of this scenario.

    The USA wanted to get communism and socialism out of the world.
    Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya knew a political system that was rather non-Muslim and nationalistic.

    How do you get a left wing government down?
    By supporting Muslim fundamentalists.
    And that's what the CIA did to get the Russians out of Afghanistan.

    Nowadays there has been 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan, and Osama Bin Laden is still walking a free man. Reason.. The CIA doesn't want to get him.
    He probably is still payed by the CIA, to have a pretext for war.

    Al Qaida as an organization of Muslim fundamentalists, that in secret is led by the CIA.
    A really genius plan! And it has been done before in history!

    During the Second World War, Dutch communist resistance fighters were parachuted above German occupied Dutch territory, while the Germans were informed about it.

    Google search "Englandspiel"

    The English dumped unwanted communists right into the hands of the Nazi's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    The USA wanted to get communism and socialism out of the world.
    Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya knew a political system that was rather non-Muslim and nationalistic.

    How do you get a left wing government down?
    By supporting Muslim fundamentalists.
    And that's what the CIA did to get the Russians out of Afghanistan.
    Totally. The US was in support of the Taliban until 1996 or so because they were thought to be good at preventing communism from spreading into the region, and didn't consider bin Laden a threat until 1998. Oops. Not the first time, nor the last, that US foreign policy has backfired.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    Nowadays there has been 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan, and Osama Bin Laden is still walking a free man. Reason.. The CIA doesn't want to get him.
    He probably is still payed by the CIA, to have a pretext for war.

    Al Qaida as an organization of Muslim fundamentalists, that in secret is led by the CIA.
    A really genius plan! And it has been done before in history!
    Whoa, so it's like... 9/11 was both done by Muslim fundamentalists AND was an inside job AT THE SAME TIME!!!

    You really think that the US has consistently had enough foresight to plan this all out from the beginning? The simpler explanation is that the US didn't know what they were getting into by supporting Muslim radicals during the Cold War, that backfired, and now they're trying (largely unsuccessfully) to clean up that mess.

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    Nothing new, you always support enemy of your enemy. Same way USA supported Soviet Union to win war with Germany and Japan. We know that US didn't support communism, but it looked like it till the end of the war, right?
    Draw the same analogy when you say that US supports Islamic Fundamentalists. They were enlisted to help fight Soviets, but it doest mean that US supports Islamic Fundamentalism ideas.

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    This is true, Saddam was backed, armed and encouraged against Iran as well and there were shivers of horror throughout the Balkans when the same ploy was used in Kosovo.

    Just wish there was a bit more forethought and research into local politics before such tactics are used, instead of kneejerk reactions that has everyone blundering from one self created mess to another. The arms industry must be happy, if no-one else is.

    Lessons are not learnt and I think Reinaert is probably giving the CIA et al more credit that they are capable of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone View Post
    Lessons are not learnt and I think Reinaert is probably giving the CIA et al more credit that they are capable of.
    No kidding. CIA are run by people and these creatures are known not to make smartest decisions, at least all the time.
    Soviet Union was a big thread to US, and all means and soviet's enemies were used to fight it. Now US doesn't face a grave danger like this, and most CIA forces are turned into keeping Islamic terrorists in check. This is why there is no unified front, or much of reaction, regarding of what to do with uprisings in Middle East and North Africa. Even president Obama doesn't know what to say very often in these matters.
    Yet when I watch BBC news, the journalists always ask questions or direct comments towards US to do something or say something. I had a feeling that they were confused why US doesn't do anything?
    At least in BBC there is a big perception to expect global policing from USA.
    For me, BBC should have direct these questions and expectation to Europe and European Union. Europe will be effected, and already is effected, more than US.

    My opinion is that the uprisings, that go on right now, are exclusively internal matter of involved nations. We are welcome to give our opinions and moral support for the sides that we like, but this is it. The struggle is an internal matter of these societies to find their identity, political systems, economy, etc. We should stay on sidelines,...unless there is a terrible genocide going on.

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    A pity Iraq was not left to deal with it's own, as the people of Iraq would have done eventually and in a way that was best for them. Afghanistan too for that matter, the Taliban was no friend of Osama and his bunch, he was a thorn in their side and they would have dealt with him in a more expedient manner. The only thing that invasion has gained is to force both sides into a partnership, the enemy of my enemy .....

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    The point is, the CIA is only part of the game. Then there is a company like Blackwater, and only Lord nows how many more. It's possible and even rational that things that happened can only be explained because in the USA there is a state behind the state.

    The military-industrial complex had plenty of time to plan a false flag operation in september 2001.

    There are so much smoking guns, so much lose ends. Questions that were never answered. Al Qaeda is an invention of the dark side of the USA system.
    After the fall of communism, politics and corporate America needed another enemy to scare the people.

    Osama Bin Laden fits in this scenario as a double agent.

    Unrest in the Middle East rises the oil prices, and that is very welcome to the oil companies. They make huge profits by it.

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    Would any of you disagree that the events in Iraq have helped provoke the instability that has spilled over into full out revolution? While it main not be the main cause of the revolutions it surley has been a catalyst in creating unrest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edao View Post
    Would any of you disagree that the events in Iraq have helped provoke the instability that has spilled over into full out revolution? While it main not be the main cause of the revolutions it surley has been a catalyst in creating unrest.
    I don't know what to think about it anymore.
    What I know, is that it stinks.

    The revolutions in the Arab world seem to have little to do with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It has more correlation with the high food prices.
    Wheat, corn, milk products.

    In my country we had elections yesterday, and people are really revolting against the pig industry.
    A pig uses 30 times its weight in eating corn.
    In other words.. To get 1 kilo of porc, you need 30 kilo of wheat, or other corn food. Food that is taken from the international food market.
    It means that 1 kilo of porc feeding 1 person, could mean to give 30 persons enough bread of 1 kilo to survive.

    That's wrong with this world.

    Revolutions always start when people get hungry.

    The point is, that the USA owns a big part of the international food market..

    So, they can take the initiative for any revolution where ever in the world.

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    they are coming back. US will be the new neighbor of EU.

    there should be a new discussion "should US joın EU?" :)) and close the the topic "is EU a superpower?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by edao View Post
    Would any of you disagree that the events in Iraq have helped provoke the instability that has spilled over into full out revolution? While it main not be the main cause of the revolutions it surley has been a catalyst in creating unrest.
    I'm still sticking to my summary as in post #5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edao View Post
    With potential democratic revolution sweeping across the arab world is Gerorge W. Bush to thank?

    Would any of this have been possible without the war in Iraq and the fall of Sadam Hussain?
    I haven't seen any modern day politician yet, that I would say is a great man. all the American politicians are really just businessmen. I think as history goes on he will be less hated, than he was during the end of his presidency. I do think that America has played a huge role in these revolutions, I wouldn't just say Bush. I think the Obama administration has played an even huger role in the recent revolutions. Is this a good thing? No I don't think so. There is only more confusion in the middle east than there was before, and more reason for radical terrorist to gain popularity in their countries and become even more dangerous. I seriously doubt these countries will become democratic from these revolutions. The U.S and some western European nations are only over there for business purposes. Take Libya for instance, Gadhafi was an ally to the U.S for like 40 years. Why did all of the sudden we care after 40 years that he was a totalitarian dictator who was causing destruction to his people, when he hadn't changed from anything he was doing earlier, and that genocides and oppressive regimes have existed and happened before yet the u.s did nothing about it? Because all the sudden guys like Gadhafi wanted to change business plans. Same with Mubarak. Same whats happening in Syria. The U.S is controlled by companies and corporations. They are the ones messing in peoples business around the world causing numerous deaths to regular people for their own interests. George Bush has played a role in this, but he is just one in many in the U.S, and Obama is no different. They U.S government is just a pawn of coorporations, and these companies are extremely evil and greedy. I think Bush, Obama and the U.S government as a whole are not great but the opposite, selfish bastards who care nothing about their people or other nations peoples. They only care about their own interests. Im an American so Im not against the people or the nation as a whole, but these companies need to be put under check in the U.S

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaert View Post
    Bush is a first class lunatic.

    I don't believe in an honest government in the USA.
    Companies govern that country for already 60 years.

    And I don't believe the unrest in the Arab world is spontaneous.
    I guess the CIA and other agents are involved.

    People around the Mediterranean are usually very friendly people.
    Too kind to start a revolution, because there is a revolution in another country.
    It's all staged and cooked!
    You are completely right, except I would not lump all people from the Mediterranean together. Ive met a lot of arabs and they can be very friendly, but they are very volatile. Ive also talked to a lot of U.S military men, who were over they and they told me, that you could go to dinner with a bunch of arabs, and they would laugh and smile and be friendly with you, and then try to kill you the same night. I feel that very much when Im with arabs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbarian View Post
    they are coming back. US will be the new neighbor of EU.

    there should be a new discussion "should US joın EU?" :)) and close the the topic "is EU a superpower?"
    Yes, I agree with you. Biden was already over in Europe talking about this. They will join up to stay on top of the world economy, to keep china in check.

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