reply to post by poet1b
It's just the way the world operates. Dark Age Europe was just as violent, with local "feudal" war lords exercising their authority over the
peasant populations. The point isn't that a natural process has to be seamless, or even democratic, it's just that such a process irons out all the
rough patches, and issues are corrected over time. The rise of industrialization in Europe imposed a powerful force on the land lords, which
culminated in the development of liberal democracy through the extension of voting power to the fresh middle classes, who were supplying capital to
the kingdom. The middle class took precedence over large-estate land lords, whose ancient system became quickly incompatible with the needs of an
expanding state bureaucracy. The kingdom needed resources, especially with such a rapidly growing population. Something like this could have happened
in Arabia as well.
The only problem was that the process of nation building in the Middle East was subverted by foreign interests that imposed artificial barriers to the
region's natural development. The whole process could have been bloody well violent, but at least it would be uniquely their own struggle. In Europe,
the Roman Catholic church played the same role as Islam is today. But what happened? Martin Luther signed a petition in protest to the violence of
that institution and then Europe fell into religious, civil warfare for well over two hundred years until peace was finally reestablished. The result
was the creation of modern, democratic states and the introduction of the doctrine of the separation of church from state. What's to suggest that
Middle Eastern nations could not accomplish the same thing?
Maybe it's just the age we live in today, especially characterized rapid communication of information. In some respects, we might feel obligated to
nurture the humane development of nations all across the world. But that's never been the truth. No one in power actually cares. Whatever
"civilizing" missions we've undertaken have solely been in our own interest. The United Nations mandate system at the end of World War I, no matter
how noble they at first appeared, and no matter how idealistic President Woodrow Wilson seemed; the system was doomed to failure as its interests were
primarily aligned with the energy and market demands of the care-taker countries. France exploited Syria and Lebanon for many decades to come before
their own revolutions took place. Britain had trouble letting go of some of it's own mandates as well, namely Egypt. Nasser came to power through a
military coup, and designed to create a powerful Islamic religious state in retaliation. It was all a sham.
Originally posted by poet1b
i]reply to post by cognoscente
Yeah, after Russia went communist, there was considerable effort to contain the USSR, and for good reason. Do you think Stalin was a good guy? Do you
think living under a totalitarian government is the way to live? Yeah, western nations like the U.S. and Britain opposed socialists, who historically,
every single time after winning in democratic elections, wound up setting up dictatorships. Watch Chavez, he is going in that direction already, and
it won't be too long.
That doesn't mean they're capable of fixing other nations' problems. History can attest to their repeated failures. Ultimately, it is my opinion
that political moderation should overcome the Middle East and Islamic fundamentalism in the state arena be completely and utterly abolished. And I
think a great deal of Middle Easterners today would understand my claim. Are they going to do anything about it? No, not as long as they are being
oppressed by foreign powers. The only things that matter to the West are "allies, oil, influence and stability" and in that order specifically. No
one is capable of restoring order but the people of the Middle East itself.
Wouldn't you agree that the legitimacy of fundamentalists is only granted by the perception that they are the only force capable of rectifying the
violence that is happening in the region? Obviously the common people are going to look to a long established religious institution, whose sole
concern is ostensibly delivering peace on earth, before approaching any other strategy. Fundamentalism is not fundamental to the religion of Islam,
nor is it a viable strategy for long-term political stability. Unfortunately, the people can't see that if they're being blinded by a desire for
vengeance from oppression. When a wider range of the population gets to experience a greater proportion of the wealth found in the region, as well as
to undertake in the political process, then and only then will a process of stabilization process begin. The elimination of the Saudi regime would be
a start. A neutral, democratic, Arab state could take its place and the influence of radicalism would diminish rapidly. Unfortunately, the oil, as
well as the entire illusion of prosperity in the West would disappear along with it.
Lastly, I'm not supporting terrorism. I'm saying it's the Middle East's best strategic response to not only the oppression, but the lack of
political representation due to the West's need to fill the power vacuum in the Middle East created by the expansion and increasing pressure of the
Soviet Union after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The West took advantage of its position as care-takers for "mandate states", authorized by
the United Nations after World War I. The West barely gave up those regions, and they all in one way or another sought independence, because it was
becoming apparent the West wasn't going to give it up. They continually used the excuses of economic underdevelopment, lack of education, lack of
authority, etc. as excuses to delay self-determination. It wasn't until 1960 that the crisis was recognized for what it was.
Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
And the signatories. It's rather interesting to see no significant Western powers signing this. Well, for one, that would illegitimate the Vietnamese
war of oppression that the West, including the U.S. and France, were currently engaged in.
Corporations and nation-states are inextricably linked in their pursuit of wealth and power. There is no clear distinction. The gains in capital
wealth acquired by the corporations are equal to the gains in political influence and material wealth on behalf of the nation-state. The exact same
reasons were employed in the U.S.'s neo-colonial activities across all of Latin America, especially that of the Dominic Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua and
El Salavdor in the 1960's, and in the cases of Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Grenada and Chile throughout the rest of the 20th century. The corporations
are definitely a culprit, but that doesn't extricate the nation-states behind them (U.S. corporations pay U.S. taxes no matter where they are) from
the series of exploitations they are committing on the local populations.
[edit on 3-3-2009 by cognoscente]