[lit-ideas] Re: The winner has already been selected?

  • From: Judy Evans <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 19:20:07 +0000

Saturday, December 4, 2004, 7:55:37 AM, Lawrence Helm wrote:

(Hello, Lawrence)

LH> Andreas:  I agree with most of what you have written here.  I wouldn't go as
LH> far as you do and say there won't be a democracy in Iraq, but I have strong
LH> doubts that there will. 

I do too -- the conditions for a stable democracy are not there. I don't think 
failure is inevitable, obviously, but do think it likely.


LH> I think we will hang around for awhile, 

You weren't, I think, on-List when I quoted the head of our Army: he said we'll 
be there "for years", that tends to sugges you till too. Certainly, for some 
while. The Black Watch has left Camp Dogwood and will be home for Christmas 
(Blair knows there are some promises he has to keep) but

The British commander who sent the Black Watch north told the BBC last week 
that other British units could be redeployed to other parts of Iraq in the 

and I'd say he doesn't only mean "until the elections"


LH> You asked who the insurgents are.  I watched part of a C-Span discussion
LH> last night and a couple of experts thought that Iraq was becoming the new
LH> training ground for Islamist warriors much like what occurred in Afghanistan
LH> prior to 1989.  Experts had evidence that some Muslims were leaving Europe
LH> to join the insurgents in Iraq. 

I am sure that's correct.  It's said 3 British Muslims have joined the 
Al-Zarqawi group (I can't find the newpaper piece that said more) and here, we 
are fortunate, British Muslims are for historical reasons less alienated (and 
non-Muslims, less alienated from them) than in say the Netherlands.  
("Fortunate" and "for historical reasons" somewhat obscure the efforts made by 
our politicians and by British Muslims to try, anyway, to ensure that that 


was just a
LH> matter of time.  Holland endured their 9/11 when Van Gogh was assassinated

I wouldn't call that a 9/11 -- and I'd say its effect was the greater for the 
assassination of Pim Fortuyn

LH> and since then they have introduced legislation that someone described as
LH> making our Patriot act look like Kumbaya. 

they have? I could only find this:



LH> Lawrence Helm

LH> San Jacinto 


LH> -----Original Message-----
LH> From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
LH> [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
LH> On Behalf Of Andreas Ramos
LH> Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 10:54 PM
LH> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
LH> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: The winner has already been selected?


LH> From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>


>> I agree with the Bush

>> administration that it matters less who wins and more that the

>> democratic system gets up and running.


LH> There will not be a democracy because none of the three major ethnic
LH> factions want a 

LH> democracy because each of them stands to lose in such a structure.


>> I don't see why a

>> Shiite cleric in power is necessarily a problem and I don't think the

>> Bush administration is in principle opposed to such an outcome.


LH> Oh, Phil, if you would only read something about the situation, instead of
LH> making 

LH> theorectical statements about principles.


LH> About 60% of the population is Shiite. That means if there is an open vote,
LH> the Shiite win. 

LH> Which guarantees a civil war, because the Sunni, who have been traditionally
LH> in power, would 

LH> lose. The Kurds would also lose. So the Shiite can win the election, but
LH> they can't control 

LH> the other two factions.


LH> What's at stake? Hundreds of billions in oil money. If one faction gets the
LH> oil, the other 

LH> two get only sand.


LH> The Kurds want their own state. That would cause the breakup of Iraq. But if
LH> the Kurds 

LH> estabish a state, Turkey attacks the Kurds, because a Kurdish state on their
LH> border would 

LH> incite the Kurds within Turkey to start a separationist movement.


LH> Iran would love to seize some oil fields as well. There's that Iraq/Iran War
LH> and 

LH> reparations.


LH> The only way for Iraq to stay stable would be some sort of power-sharing,
LH> quasi federation. 

LH> But none of the players are stable enough to develop such a plan or stay in
LH> such an 

LH> arrangement. (Actually, the Kurds probably could, but they're too small to
LH> matter.)


LH> A good question is who are the insurgents? Are they a general anti-USA
LH> jihad? Are these 

LH> various different groups, all fighting the USA? Are some of these ex-Saddam
LH> Baathists? Are 

LH> they angry Iraqi, looking for revenge? Are they patriots, seeking to
LH> liberate their country? 

LH> Where is the money, food, supplies, information, training, etc., coming
LH> from? The White 

LH> House and the media doesn't discuss that very much.


>> I would just add that it is virtually unthinkable that the US

>> would not maintain some military presence in Iraq.


LH> The US certainly wants to stay there (they built 14 large military bases),
LH> but an Iraqi 

LH> government that has popular support will ask the USA to leave.


>> If the Iraqi people want civil war, what business is it of the US?


LH> Oh, let's see... second largest reserves of oil, total collapse of a
LH> volatile region, the 

LH> catastrophic effects on the West if the oil supplies were to be cut off, the
LH> danger of oil 

LH> switching to Euros, Iraq becoming fundamentalist, a fundamentalist Iraq with
LH> billions could 

LH> easily buy nuclear weapons... any one of those, several of those, very
LH> likely several of 

LH> those.


LH> That's why an Iraqi civil war would be a disaster on the beaches of Iowa and
LH> the coffee 

LH> houses of Toronto.


>> And if things move towards civil war, surely the most

>> logical intervention would be from the UN.  With the US out of Iraq I am

>> sure we can count on the French and Germans to lead the way.


LH> Once again, Phil reaches for arguments divorced from reality.


LH> Would UN, France, or Germany intervene?


LH> Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the region knows it is extremely
LH> unstable, with very 

LH> powerful actors pushing their various agendas. The Saudi, India, Pakistan,
LH> Russia, and 

LH> Turkey are all on the edge of war over the region. Three of those have
LH> nuclear weapons. 

LH> Israel, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, is in middle of it. What
LH> kind of idiot 

LH> would drive an army into the middle of such a mess? Well, okay, asides from
LH> Bush?


LH> An Iraqi civil war could turn into a free-for-all land grab (okay, oil
LH> grab). And that could 

LH> turn into a nuclear exchange very quickly.


LH> Phil, that's why Germany and France won't lead the way.


LH> The only country that could have kept the region from going at each other's
LH> throats would 

LH> have been the USA, but the USA has lost so much credibility that it can't
LH> take on that role 

LH> anymore.


LH> If you noticed in the news today, Putin and Singh, of Russia and India, made
LH> a sharp 

LH> denouncement of US policies in the Middle East. They say the USA should stop
LH> supporting 

LH> Islamic terrorists. And they're right. Namely, the USA supports Pakistan,
LH> and Pakistan arms, 

LH> trains, and directs the jihad in Kashmir and the former Soviet republics,
LH> incl. Chechnya.


LH> yrs,

LH> andreas

LH> www.andreas.com


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 Judy Evans, Cardiff, UK   

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