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Iraqis not good enough for ACTUAL democracy?

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posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 09:58 AM
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So the U.S. Occupation forces now have closed another newspaper for disobeying and printing what they want to print.

Is Freedom of the Press not a pretty important aspect of Democracy? Doesn't it herald actual Freedom Of Speech?

What a joke. Freedom of Speech protects Aryan wackjobs, anti-governmental militias and religious crackpots in the US, but Iraqis are not allowed to have their own press? A readership of 10,000 people in a country of 26 million?

www.christusrex.org...

"Bremer closes hardline newspaper and Iraqis ask: Is this democracy US-style?
By Robert Fisk in Baghdad
30 March 2004


Another little lesson in democracy. "The Americans and the Governing Council are kaffirs," the Iraqi Shias screamed yesterday from the minibus in Al-Hurriyah Square. Hurriyah means freedom. Kaffirs means infidels, atheists, apostates.

On Sunday morning, American troops blocked the four roads into the square and Iraqi policemen - 90, according to the journalists of the Al-Hawza al-Natiqa newspaper - entered the paper's offices on the square and presented the staff with a signed letter from Paul Bremer, the US proconsul, ordering them to close down the weekly for 60 days.

Then US troops searched the premises. A few biscuits were left lying on the sofa of the editor's office. And the gates were closed with a new lock, marked "American Made". "This is not America - this is Iraq," one of the paper's journalists said yesterday, pointing at the gate which had already been forced open by the staff.

Now let us not be romantic. Al-Hawza al-Natiqa means "The Spoken (Islamic) College" and the paper is a mouthpiece of Muqtada Sadr, whose "Mehdi's army" brings a chill even to the heart of Paul Bremer. Its sin, among many, was to criticise Mr. Bremer and - in his own words, for he signed the letter - "to provoke violence against the 'Coalition Forces'." For coalition, read occupation.

The letter was quite specific; anyone who disobeyed and dared to publish more "false reports" faced court, a possible year in prison and a $1,000 (550) fine.

Mr Bremer was specific about the paper's alleged crimes. The letter was addressed to the manager of the paper, Sheikh Abbas al-Raba'i, and stated that his publishing licence was being revoked. He and his editor, Sheikh Abbas Hassan Zargani, were guilty of publishing "false" articles...."


The rest at the link.




posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 10:06 AM
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IMHO this was all a big mistake. What idiot thought that he could just slap a bandaid on grudges between groups that have been going on for thousands of years? Oh ya! I remember now.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 10:20 AM
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I am curious as to why the article failed to mentioned that they had been warned several times in the past to cease writing inflamatory articles?

Personally I do not see the problem here. They were warned, failed to take heed of this warning knowing full well there would be consequences, and then got upset when they were punished?

This isn't a freedom of speech issue, it is a crime and punishment one.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 10:21 AM
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I think that our "leadership" in Iraq is not thinking through these decisions. Part of winning this war and setting up a valid democracy in Iraq is winning the hearts and minds of those in the region.

This is an example of where we will fail. Freedom of the press is a BIG issue in that whole region. It is why Al Jazzera and others are prospering, the ability to share information without government control is something new to the arab people. So after the Iraqis have been under someones thumb for decades we come in during a war to free them, now we are telling them you are only free to say what we want you to say.

Bad news for us, does anyone really believe a truly democratic regime in Iraq can last? Not if we keep this up.

I undertand the aurgument that they are printing inflamatory articles, are we to believe our coalition is so weak we cannot counter that? Isn't freedom of speech supposed to be the freedom to print what you want? We have publications in this country that are inflamatory, yet we would never shut them down.

Most in that region look at us as setting the example, so far we are saying to do as we say, not as we do...

[Edited on 3/30/2004 by nativeokie]



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 10:39 AM
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Its not a matter of, are they good enough, its a matter of, are they socially evolved enough? Ander? No. The middle east is barely ready for feudalism, let alone democracy. Its a very big mistake for us to be there, even if we really were trying to make it a democracy. The cultures themselves must evolve to the point where they are ready to give up certain facets like superstition and the like. The arab world simply isnt ready.

I see here from looking at this article, its far more a case of the paper was knowingly and deliberately spreading false information, maybe even stirring up deliberate civil unrest and the like. That sort of "free speech" is not tolerated in the US, where you are gonna get shut down if you start libeling people or suggesting, promoting, instigating violence.

Contrary to your false misconceptions, Jakomo, the right wing in this country, from hillbillies to your "aryan whack jobs" do not get protected by the first amendment. I have seen many such pepers and people and orgs get shut down too.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:31 AM
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Okay, so they are not allowed to publish anything that the Occupying Authority might label as "seditious".

Um, since this is their country, shouldn't they be able to decide what they want to do FOR THEMSELVES? To decide what and what ISN'T seditious?

Did they ask the US to bring them democracy? If they want an Islamic fundamentalist state run by frickin DONKEYS isn't that their RIGHT?

Do they get every single right that Americans have under their Constitution or do they get "Democracy Lite"?

Who says the U.S. has any actual expertise in nation-building? Who asked them to illegally invade Iraq and occupy it for years, anyway?

Like I said, it's a joke. It clearly shows that the US is totally full of crap when it comes to promoting democracy. Pro-U.S. democracy is the only thing they will accept and let's face it, that ain't gonna happen.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
Okay, so they are not allowed to publish anything that the Occupying Authority might label as "seditious".


Where did they say that it was "seditios?" I missed that part of the article.

It said that they were making inflamatory articles, there is a difference.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:40 AM
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Jakomo. If I were to type here in this forum, that I think that you are an "asswipe" or a mindless "fanatical fool",
I would end up with a warning or getting myself banned.

There has to be a line drawn.

There can never be total freedom of press whilst people are at each other's throats. Freedom of speech has to be something that has been earnt and once you've got it, it has to be protected. If you start out introducing an unchecked freedom to a nation that has never had it, you can actually destroy the freedom before it's even got of the ground. It sort of self implodes.

As to what Skadi is describing. I think that this link sums it up better.

www.frontpagemag.com...

Harsh as it may appear - it's based on absolute truth.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:41 AM
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CoolHand: The article said : "Its sin, among many, was to criticise Mr. Bremer and - in his own words, for he signed the letter - "to provoke violence against the 'Coalition Forces'." "

I used the definition of sedition that says "Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin sedition-, seditio, literally, separation, from se- apart + ition-, itio act of going, from ire to go -- more at SECEDE, ISSUE
: incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority".

Because the US Authority is accusing them of publishing articles that criticize the Occupation and apparently foment resistance.

It's called Freedom of the Press and you ought to be able to publish anything you want to in your own country without the government (never mind a foreign government) sticks its nose in.

Whether you think it's fair or not, this does a lot to further increase Iraqis hatred of their US occupiers.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
So the U.S. Occupation forces now have closed another newspaper for disobeying and printing what they want to print.

Is Freedom of the Press not a pretty important aspect of Democracy? Doesn't it herald actual Freedom Of Speech?

What a joke. Freedom of Speech protects Aryan wackjobs, anti-governmental militias and religious crackpots in the US, but Iraqis are not allowed to have their own press? A readership of 10,000 people in a country of 26 million?



You know it's all a sham, Jak. "Democracy" in Iraq means American puppet government. "Freedom of the Press" means CPA screened propaganda. It's a joke.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:47 AM
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i posted this same topic a few days ago and got no replies....maybe i should join the conspiracy claims of thread favoritism around here....
but i won't..i realize most probably missed it..due to other more interesting stories around that day.
Fueling the Fire? U.S Bans Iraqi Shi'ite Newspaper

anyway...as stated in my thread..i understand why the US would shut the paper down....but i also understand why the arabs dislike us and feel we are two faced...you know what i mean....other than that...it's not about democracy...because even in the democracy of the US we have papers and websites shut down all the time.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 11:58 AM
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Leveller: "Jakomo. If I were to type here in this forum, that I think that you are an "asswipe" or a mindless "fanatical fool",
I would end up with a warning or getting myself banned"


So explain to me how that is NOT calling me an asswipe or a mindless fanatical fool. Transparently insulting. Any moderators out there reading this unwarranted personal attack?

"Freedom of speech has to be something that has been earnt and once you've got it, it has to be protected. If you start out introducing an unchecked freedom to a nation that has never had it, you can actually destroy the freedom before it's even got of the ground. It sort of self implodes."

Oh wow, I must have missed the fact you have a Master's Degree in sociology. Freedom of speech has to be EARNED?! If you introduce an "unchecked freedom" to a nation that never had it, it can actually DESTROY freedom. What a stinking load of crap.

Freedom for a country and for a people is the FREEDOM to make those mistakes. Iraq is THEIR country, it's history is THEIRS, it's land is THEIRS, it's OIL is theirs. If they want to give everyone in the country absolute freedom to do what they want it's THEIR prerogative. NOT the United States.

Saying that people need to EARN freedom is a total crock. What did America do to earn its' freedom? Rebelled against the British? Killed the Indians?

You get so upset at things that you clearly don't even have the slightest notion of, it's kind of funny.

As for your link, it's more bunk.

"4. Culture: The culture of the Muslim world is not admired by outsiders, either in its high or popular versions. Foreign students do not flock to its universities. Its ideals do not resonate for others. No-one dreams of being like them."

Sweeping, false statements. NO ONE DREAMS OF BEING LIKE THEM. How can anyone say that without backing it up? Well, apparently this author.

FrontPageMag.com is a laughably biased pro-Israel site, try to get a good link. The article you reference is infantile in it's assumptions. And it's not written by a historian or anything.

In fact, this Robert Locke guy actually wrote a review on a book about Evolution and he actually comes out as a Creationist! Not exactly the intelligentsia, hmm?

www.frontpagemag.com...



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:00 PM
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Goes to show just how much people really understand the word 'democracy' and most definitely the words 'freedom of press"....


Good grief.
OT: I'm almost sure that the couple or members above this post will literally crap their breaches if they knew what Habeas corpus is and that the President has the authority (through Emergency Powers) to nullify it.

Back to "freedom of press", just as "freedom of speech" may be inherently "free", but read up uo the legal perameters and conditions of, before flapping that they can "say and write" what they want....I'm afriad that you are sadly mistaken and are speaking nothing but half-truths.
Speech and press are "free rights" but are also and can be restricted and governed.

Nothing is truly "free" in life, nothing. Everything comes with some sort of restriction, rule, guideline,etc......speech and press are no different!



seekerof



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:09 PM
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Seekerof: Haha, I'm only using the U.S. as an example because most people here are American and it's the Americans that are illegally occupying Iraq.

Your country has much to learn about actual freedom, too, despite all its claims to the contrary. Most countries in Europe have more "freedom" than you do.

The American Ideal is anything but.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:14 PM
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Saving arguing with you on this Jakomo, I will somewhat agree at the 'youthfulness' of the US democracy.

As such, "free" expressions of 'speech' and 'press' are dependent upon each state or nation. They may be similiar, but they do vary. The Iraqi situation is of no difference, IMHO.



seekerof

[Edited on 30-3-2004 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:17 PM
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Anyone who believes in all this "freedom" and "democracy" stuff still existing in the USA really needs to study the Patriot Act.

FEMA is your daddy.



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by Jakomo

So explain to me how that is NOT calling me an asswipe or a mindless fanatical fool. Transparently insulting. Any moderators out there reading this unwarranted personal attack?



Believe it or not. It wasn't meant as a personal attack. I think I made that clear with the rest of my post.
But it's very interesting that you should call for moderators to supress my freedom of speech.

Do you understand what I am getting at now?



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by Leveller

Originally posted by Jakomo

So explain to me how that is NOT calling me an asswipe or a mindless fanatical fool. Transparently insulting. Any moderators out there reading this unwarranted personal attack?



Why does one feel the need to employ such language in mere debate? Because he finds he losing the debate, perhaps?

It cheapens the site.




posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:41 PM
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Did you miss the point that Leveller was making in regards to "democracy," your so-called "freedoms of speech" and "freedoms of press" ECK?

Your point is well understand, but I believe you seemingly missed his.
Does the Patriot Act or FEMA apply to Leveller's comments, as well?




seekerof



posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 12:42 PM
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ECK. No. It's merely a point to prove how inflammatory language can raise high emotion.

As I said, I genuinely didn't mean it as a personal attack (believe me, I have a lot better than that in my arsenal if I were interested in defamation) but Jak and yourself have given a reaction that is contradictory to your argument.

It proves how carefully freedom of speech has to be used and shows how it cannot be left to run unchecked.

[Edited on 30-3-2004 by Leveller]



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