Do you support military action, or not? (I’m not sure at this point).

We’ve got a diplomatic out, and I’m more than happy to see US take it.

Also: Okay. Who’s the wise guy?

Such a thread would have been massive a few years back. It’s less acrimonious now, however.

Were the forums hacked or something?

I thought it was one of Zepp’s pranks or something.

At least its gone now.

And yes, its sad to see how barren this place has become in the past couple of years.

Yes. It should be dealt with now, although I wouldn’t trust it not to happen again, not with vBulletin.

The Syrian conflict is an blotch on the world and it basically boils to sovereignty, whether the UN’s the world’s policeman and is its job to babysit dictators?

100 000 are already dead, millions displaced and the country is in shambles. Even if you interfered now, who are you intervening for? Its a mess that would require a massive invasion and long term occupation and for what? Look at Egypt, Libya and Iraq. No one wants to get sucked into another one of these and rightfully so. The more liberal educated portion of the population will sit by and whine about extremists and watch their “liberators” get shot by extremists. Real democracy means seeing the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in power and we all know how well that’s going.

Ultimately, the situation is diplomatic in Syria and elsewhere, this isn’t going to happen because of completely opposed ideologies that refuse to compromise. The only difference with the US is that the tea party isn’t bombing embassies and shopping centres.

Like I said. *Sigh. It should be dealt with again. Hopefully I also got rid of the way they got in.

For Syria, see Sinistral.

Politics is the cancer that killed rpgclassics.

" Real democracy means seeing the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in power and we all know how well that’s going."

Yeah, but that’s why democracy works: by allowing people to make their own mistakes. the Middle East will have to be reformed eventually, since what we’ve been doing - bribing tyrants - breeds terrorists, loose-cannon dictators like Saddam, and compromises U.S. security. Such reform will be long and painful, and will involve religous radicals, as you say, gaining power for a generation or even more. But this bitter experience will reshape the attitudes and culture of the Mideast, makiing it more amenable to liberal democracy.

“Democracy: the belief that the public knows what they want and deserve to get it. Good and hard.” - H.L Mencken

Politics is the cancer that killed rpgclassics.

oh? how so?

I’m surprised you haven’t learned by now not to take anything Charle ever says seriously.

Re: Syria, that is a remarkably naive statement that is in no way rooted in reality. Giving people democracy doesn’t magically work. When your country is unstable because of extremists who have weapons, the results look like Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, as I explained in my prior post. The scenario you depicted is not supported by any evidence and thus there is no reasonable expectation of success.

I believe in reproducible results.

I disagree. It sounds naive but I think it is rooted in reality. I don’t think he’s suggesting anything magical, but rather by implying learning through mistakes he is in fact suggesting that over time mistakes are made and learned from. This is rooted in reality because there are any number of ancient civilizations who prospered and many that didn’t. There was a great deal of trial and error both in technology (like agriculture and metal work) and democratic (varieties of different types of governments everywhere, all being shared and distributed throughout, ultimately being observed by Egypt, Greece and Rome). In a modern perspective see The Articles of the Confederacy, the repeal of such, and the cumulative time spent trying to figure out our nations government and you can see how it’s grounded in reality.

PS guess who went back to school

Civilizations have risen and fallen independently of democracy. Success has largely been dependent on the alignment of the stars in terms of culture, technology, resources and commerce. If your culture is incompatible with democracy, you aren’t going to go very far.

Good luck Sorc! (what in?)

The day the middle east is at peace, is the day it is a smoking crater. It sounds insensitive, but I think the west should stay out and let them solve their own problems. Getting involved will just be another quagmire to drain money and lives. I say we deal with threats against our own people and otherwise leave them to their own devices.

Edit: And yeah, I miss when this place was busy, too. :confused:

. If your culture is incompatible with democracy, you aren’t going to go very far.

The point is that, over time, experiencing democracy will change the public’s attitudes. it just takes a long time and lots of painful mistakes. So, for instance, the Egyptian people elect the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood screws things up - the average Egyptian experiences pain. They learn that radical Islamic policies suck. In the next election, the people elect a leader who represents better principles.

It is, BTW, reproducible in reality. Look at America’s history. When the American democracy started, only white male property-owners were allowed to vote. Over time, the vote was extended to the propertyless, freed slaves, and eventually women. These changes were all democratically enacted. So we see that

Look just at the changes in culture that have happened from the 1950s till today. these cultural changes were, in part, democratically enacted. So, for instance, the public voted for politicians who opposed segregation laws, who supported women in the workforce, etc.

We’re going in circles and you’re not really addressing anything that I’m saying.

Your blind idealism is impractical and is not taking into consideration many things For example, that some people in Egypt think that the Muslim Brotherhood fucked the pooch doesn’t mean that they learned that the politics of the Muslim Brotherhood was bad. This is a gross oversimplification of the philosophy and socio-cultural-ethnic affiliations that have allowed groups like the MB to grow. There is no evidence that demonstrates that people who used to be aligned with the MB actually think the MB’s ways were wrong and therefore reject their political and religious messages. In fact, the evidence points in the other direction and not only in Egypt but elsewhere. It is much more common for people to develop an identity in relation to these kinds of things and thus for people to behave irrationally when it comes to the political decisions they make. Look at Congress right now.

Additionally, you’re not acknowledging the deep differences between US and other countries in terms of culture, history, resources, technology, external forces. You’re comparing apples and oranges. That the US exists as flawed as it is, is by no means proof that anyone anywhere can reproduce this at any time. The US, just like the empires before it, is the product of its times and unique sets of circumstances. N = 1 is not reproducibility.

Until you have something of substance to add to the points I’ve brought up, I’m not going to reply further. I’m looking for depth, facts and logic, not magical thinking.

Democracy has been successfully implemented in both India and Japan. Both are non-Western cultures, historically even more radically different from the West than Arab or Persian cultures.

Also, cultures change. America, as I pointed out, is an example. This is an important point and directly addresses what you said - since you argued that Mideasterners can’t function in a democracy because of their culture. Yet if their culture can change, then they can potentially, in the future, evolve a culture which can handle democracy.

You’re going to have to work much harder than that. Much much harder.