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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 3,040
Loc: there
Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections?
    #3771323 - 02/12/05 05:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

now granted, it's impossible to know at this point how important the election is going to be historically. but I've recently read some pretty silly statements here to the effect of "this election is the most important event in Iraq in the last century" or even "this election is the most significant political event in the entire history of Iraq"

I can't believe the hype. lets put things in perspective here: Iraq has a 5,000 year old history -it's the cradle of civilization and the crossroads of the ancient world, Iraq has been invaded and conquered countless times from all directions over the course of thousands of years, and each time the conquerers imposed their ways on the Iraqi people. I don't think anyone with a true appreciation of Iraqi history would see the recent election as the most significant political event in Iraqi history. not even close. when the hype dies down and people start putting things in perspective (they might also want to educate themselves on Iraqi history), they'll realize that.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3771400 - 02/12/05 05:42 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

What are the most significant and important events in Iraq over the past century?


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3772012 - 02/12/05 09:20 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

the nation...

its a joke..and an escalation will almost certainly follow once the iraqis realize it..sooner rather than later...even so..that will not be soon enough to prevent the republicans from using the iraq election to their advantage in 2006...it wont make much difference to the iraqis in the short nor the long term..but it prolly will have some historical significance in terms of pushing america even further to the far right...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3772131 - 02/12/05 09:54 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

JesusChrist said:
What are the most significant and important events in Iraq over the past century?




1918 - the fall of the Ottomon Empire

1921 - the modern state of Iraq is established

1932 - Iraq gains independence from the British (who took control after WWI)

1943 - Iraq joins WWII on the allied side

1945 - Iraq becomes a founding member of the Arab League

1948 - Iraq takes part in a war to prevent the creation of the state of Israel

1958 - the monarchy is overthrown, the king is executed, Iraq declares itself a republic

1968 - Ba'th party takes control in a military coup

1979 - Saddam Hussein becomes president



I would say all of these events (and probably some I missed) have greater historical significance than the recent election. the significance of the election was largely symbolic, and was meant for the domestic audience here in the states as much as it was meant for the Iraqis.


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OfflineMushmonkey
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3779433 - 02/14/05 06:19 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

It's symbolic of their freedom from the tyrannical yoke of Saddam Hussein.

Tell me, do you still learn about the Boston Tea Party in elementary school? I know I did when I was there. Wasn't that simply a symbolic act? Hell we hadn't even declared independance at that point!

The thing is, when it comes to history.. symbolic events can be very memorable and important.

I'm not quite so cynical that I think they're going to go back to a dictatorship any time soon. From what I've heard seen and read, they seem to be quite happy to have the opportunity to govern themselves.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3779669 - 02/14/05 07:11 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

35 years of Ba'thist rule put to an end, a cruel dictator who killed his own people in jail and free elections. And you don't think that merits a place on your list?

I am no expert on Iraqi history, I have to admit.

Quote:


1918 - the fall of the Ottomon Empire
After WWI, ownership of Iraq was transferred for the Ottomons to the British. Like a slave being sold on the market, they just switched owners.

1921 - the modern state of Iraq is established
The UK drew up a map of their property.

1932 - Iraq gains independence from the British (who took control after WWI)
The UK installed a monarch that would give them favorable decisions.

1943 - Iraq joins WWII on the allied side
Because of said moncarch who remained loyal to the British crown.

1945 - Iraq becomes a founding member of the Arab League
And the Arab League has done so much for humanity

1948 - Iraq takes part in a war to prevent the creation of the state of Israel
Their effort didn't go too well.

1958 - the monarchy is overthrown, the king is executed, Iraq declares itself a republic
Iraq declared itself a republic, but one guy had the power until the Ba'thist revolution of "rebirth". The Bathists executed him and took power.

1968 - Ba'th party takes control in a military coup
The Ba'th party ruled until a Texas cowboy came to town.

1979 - Saddam Hussein becomes president
What a great day in Iraqi history that turned out to be. War with his neighbors, Iran and Kuwait, gassing his kurds and putting down the Shite rebellion with bloodshed by the barrel. Mass graves tell the tale.






I guess I can see why you think free elections in Iraq mean nothing compared to the impressive century that they have had. On second thought, maybe I can't see it at all.

Had we replaced Sadaam with another bloody dictator I am sure that would have merited making your list. You don't seem to put much value on freedom and liberty. I suspect the Iraqi people will appreciate it more than you. The people that value freedom the most are the ones know what it is like to be deprived of it.


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Edited by JesusChrist (02/14/05 07:13 PM)


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3779880 - 02/14/05 07:51 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I think it is significant for the Iraqi's, however, it would be a lot more significant, and honorable if they fought and died for the freedom instead of our soldiers.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: looner2]
    #3780130 - 02/14/05 08:45 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I believe that more uniformed Iraqis have fought and died for their freedom than have Americans in this conflict. We should never overlook that.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3784614 - 02/15/05 07:06 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

JesusChrist said:
35 years of Ba'thist rule put to an end, a cruel dictator who killed his own people in jail and free elections. And you don't think that merits a place on your list




This has no relevance here. the election did not put an end to 35 years of Ba'thist rule. the election did not put saddam in jail. remember we're talking about the historical significance of the election, not the war.

Quote:

1945 - Iraq becomes a founding member of the Arab League
And the Arab League has done so much for humanity

1948 - Iraq takes part in a war to prevent the creation of the state of Israel
Their effort didn't go too well.




I don't understand why you're responding to these historical facts... are you trying to convince me that they're not historically significant events? just because you think the arab league is bad? or because of your own personal opinions on the arab-israeli conflict? keep in mind that historical significance is a morally neutral concept. your own personal opinions about those involved in the event are irrelevant to its historical significance. your other responses also seem to be emotional and/or moral objections, like this one:

Quote:

1979 - Saddam Hussein becomes president
What a great day in Iraqi history that turned out to be. War with his neighbors, Iran and Kuwait, gassing his kurds and putting down the Shite rebellion with bloodshed by the barrel. Mass graves tell the tale.




not quite sure what your point is here either, but you're doing a nice job proving my point. Saddam becomes president... this event leads to... war with neighbors, gassing the kurds, bloodshed by the barrel, mass graves... and ultimately the US invasion of Iraq... it sure sounds like a historically significant event, doesn't it?

Quote:

I guess I can see why you think free elections in Iraq mean nothing compared to the impressive century that they have had. On second thought, maybe I can't see it at all.




you're not making any sense. I never said the election meant nothing. I didn't call it a joke or a farce. perhaps you are confusing me with someone else. I think the election is a step in the right direction but I'm also trying to cut through the hype and put things into proper historical perspective. you are of course free to believe whatever you want about the election. who needs history anyway? if you want to believe that this election is the greatest and most important thing that ever happened in Iraq, go right ahead.

Quote:

Had we replaced Sadaam with another bloody dictator I am sure that would have merited making your list.




nah, the US installing dictators is old hat. hardly worth a mention these days.

Quote:

You don't seem to put much value on freedom and liberty.




your perception is a little off and you should really engage your brain first before saying such foolish things.

Quote:

The people that value freedom the most are the ones know what it is like to be deprived of it.




I would say that in most cases, people are deprived of freedom only because they tolerate tyranny.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: Mushmonkey]
    #3784674 - 02/15/05 07:18 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Mushmonkey said:
It's symbolic of their freedom from the tyrannical yoke of Saddam Hussein.

Tell me, do you still learn about the Boston Tea Party in elementary school? I know I did when I was there. Wasn't that simply a symbolic act? Hell we hadn't even declared independance at that point!




I think the significance of the Boston tea party was that it was a spontaneous and genuine expression of anger against unjust British rule.

the Iraqi election was not the result of Iraqi action - it was the result of American military intervention. let's never forget that.

If the Iraqi election had been the result of a spontaneous popular uprising to overthrow a corrupt regime, I would be praising it.

put it another way: which is a more historic achievement - attaining freedom through self-determination or attaining freedom through third-party intervention? the Iraqis didn't really get a chance at self-determination. the one time that the US encouraged the Iraqis to rise up against Saddam (shortly after the first gulf war) we hung 'em out to dry...


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3784689 - 02/15/05 07:21 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

When was the last time the adult populace of Iraq -- women included -- freely chose their government? When was the last time such a broad-based and representative group of Iraqis formed the government of that country? To the best of my knowledge: never.

That makes this election the most politically significant event in its history. Iraq has been conquered many times, been run by tyrants many times, changed hands many times, warred and been warred over many times. All of those many instances had historical significance, but none of them were unique events. This event was unique in Iraq's history. For that reason alone it has significance the other political events don't.

Was it the most significant event in Iraq's history? That's a matter of opinion. A scholar of law would say Hammurabi's rule and his code of laws was the most significant event. A pre-historian would say the invention of agriculture was. Etc. etc.

But a political scientist would say that the transition from an endless cycle of rule by force to a self-governed country is the most significant political event.

You are of course free to disagree with that.




Phred


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3784856 - 02/15/05 07:49 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

did you miss this?

"the Iraqi election was not the result of Iraqi action - it was the result of American military intervention. let's never forget that.

If the Iraqi election had been the result of a spontaneous popular uprising to overthrow a corrupt regime, I would be praising it."


if this election was a true expression of Iraqi self-determination, I would agree that it is one of the most significant political events in Iraqi history.

but to you, it's almost like the war never happened.

THE WAR was the defining historical event - it led to the downfall of the Ba'th regime and the power grab by the Shiites - this election merely re-affirms that political reality in post-war Iraq. it does not change the lives of ordinary Iraqis, and it certainly does NOT mean that Iraqis are now in control of their own destiny.

do you think that coalition troops would leave tomorrow if requested by the democratically elected government?


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: Phred]
    #3784896 - 02/15/05 07:57 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

oh btw, Hammurabi's code is a political (as well as legal) document - it was the first document to lay out individual human rights and is a pre-cursor to the bill of rights. it has FAR GREATER historical significance than this election.

and this isn't the first time that the Iraqis have been free and in control of their own government.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3785507 - 02/15/05 09:57 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Hey IG, I welcome your thoughts and insight. You made me think as well as read up a little bit on the history of the region. I appreciate that.

You differentiate the war vs. the elections. I do not. I tend to think of it all as one connected positive movement, but then again I am an optimist.

In my view, history will tell the tale. If Iraq becomes a prosperous democratic nation, then what has happened will clearly be very significant. If they don't, it won't amount to much more than a hill of beans. I am betting on Iraq. I think good things will come of this, and that is why I think it is significant.

Of course the voting is largely symbolic. The people of Iraq still have to go home to their same dwellings, work the same jobs, and endure the tension and strife of a war torn country. But symbolic will have to work for the moment. I am with Mushmonkey when he said "symbolic events can be very memorable and important."

Why? When America became independent, she wasn't the greatest nation in the world. That wouldn't happen for another hundred or so years of progress. But America couldn't have become what it was without that independence.

Also, in the history of Iraq, how many times have people seen a peaceful transfer of power? In the last century the Ottomans ceded to the Brits because the Brits kicked their ass. The Brits installed a King they liked when the heat was on, but the King was one of their selection. They ended up overthrowing the monarchy and killing the King. Then the guy who overthrew the monarchy was overthrown and killed by the Bathists.

The Iraqi elections represent a peaceful transfer of power, and that is a big thing. The best thing about democracy isn't voting your leaders in, it is voting them out. You can have a bloodless coup every election, and that is the beauty of it.

You seem to make another distinction between earning you own independence and being helped by another nation. I don't think that America would have come into being without help from those dreaded French. Ben Franklin went over there for a reason, and it most probably (in my opinion) gave us the window for independence. Without the French we would have still been British subjects. That doesn't make me think of my own freedom as anything less than freedom.

Also, as I pointed out in another post, I believe more uniformed Iraqis have died than Americans. (Police, Army, Border Guards, and people guarding the pipelines and infrastructure) They are fighting for their own freedom. And that doesn't even count the people blown up while standing in line to join the police or the armed forces. It also doesn't count the Iraqis that died in earlier Kurdish and Shia uprisings. Every Iraqi politician, (even the local council ones) knows that they have a big fat target on their back. I think we sometimes do a disservice to these people by acting like their lives and courage don't count. They are Iraqi patriots. In my view Allawi should have been Time?s man of the year. I think he did more for Iraq than anyone could have reasonably expected. He doesn't seem to get a lot of credit, and is often called a puppet. Iraqis that fight on the side of liberty are routinely discounted.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Historical Significance of Iraqi Elections? [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3785972 - 02/15/05 11:01 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

You differentiate the war vs. the elections. I do not




if we take them as the same event, then yes it's very important historically.

Quote:

In my view, history will tell the tale




agreed. see my first sentence in this thread. but sadly, some have already made up their mind that American intervention (what else?) has led to the most significant political event in Iraq's 5,000 year old history.

Quote:

I am betting on Iraq. I think good things will come of this, and that is why I think it is significant.




I understand where you're coming from. I too am betting on Iraq. but I know that things won't change because of one election. and I know that for there to be real political change in Iraq, the SECURITY SITUATION has to change first. As long as the insurgency (and by extension, the occupation) remains, no government there can represent the unadulterated will of the Iraqi people.

Quote:

The Iraqi elections represent a peaceful transfer of power




you said you do not differentiate the war and the election. I'm afraid you can't it both ways here. if you do not differentiate the two events, then this entire event has been one extremely violent transfer of power.

Quote:

You seem to make another distinction between earning you own independence and being helped by another nation. I don't think that America would have come into being without help from those dreaded French. Ben Franklin went over there for a reason, and it most probably (in my opinion) gave us the window for independence. Without the French we would have still been British subjects. That doesn't make me think of my own freedom as anything less than freedom




you're right. France played a role. but I'm afraid that's where the similarities end. I don't think anyone thinks that the American Revolution was a result of foreign intervention. France did not liberate the American colonists from the British. they certainly helped, but I think that America would have achieved independence regardless.

if the analogy with France has any bearing at all, it's that in Iraq, America could have played a similar supporting role to help the Iraqi people liberate themselves, just as the French helped us achieve our independence.


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