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Does the “Domino Theory” to spread democracy Really Work?

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posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 01:55 PM
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The United States is currently attempting to use the Domino theory to spread Democracy across the Middle East. Firstly, we invaded Afghanistan and installed a new democratic government. Next we have invaded Iraq and are in the process of installing a new government there as well. The question ultimately is, will all the resources and manpower poured into the Middle East to institute the domino theory pay off.

Well the same theory was employed during the Vietnam War as well. The purpose for the Vietnam War was because the theory held that if South Vietnam fell to communism then other countries would follow. The US used vast resources and manpower during the largely losing cause. Not only that but losses were heavy and the home front was torn apart with controversy. At the end of the long war the Cold War was winding to a close and many communist countries in Europe and elsewhere folded. The communist countries that remained (China and Vietnam) sought closer ties to the US.

So one has to beg the question does the domino theory really work? Did it work during the Vietnam War and will it work on the War on Terrorism?




posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 01:58 PM
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The domino theory will never work in the middle east. We are talking about an area that does not seperate church and state. Whenever this is a factor governments styles never just change. I cant even think of one example of this happening. Now, I am excluding hostile takeovers and such.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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The other element which isn't taken into account is that it's one thing to try to establish democracy, but if that democracy is simply a transplant of what works in the West, it doesn't take into account the specificity, history and culture of the Middle East. Democracy is evolved, not transplanted - as the attempts at Western-like democracies in Africa show.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 02:32 PM
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I for one don't think the Domino Theory worked in Vietnam and highly doubt it will work now regardless of my support for the War in Iraq



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 03:44 PM
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I don't believe it will work everywhere, and even if it does work it won't work for long.

Islam and democracy does not have a very healthy track record.

But I think a thriving semi-democracy in Iraq will have massive effects on Iran, where the Islamic revolution has lost most of its allure. I don't hear much about the need for democratic reform coming from places like Syria and Saudia Arabia and Pakistan--though that doesn't mean there aren't democratic movements there. Saudi Arabia is moving towards a more people-friendly government, with local elections and possibly parliamentary elections, but I don't trust the royal family to willingly put their grasp on power up to a vote. They're not very popular there.

We'll have to wait and see. This sort of thing is brand new to the region. Religion (Islam) has a tight grip on the area, and it will be interesting to see how they deal with issues of church/state separation. So far Islamic law has held that there is no such thing. If there were ever a place to begin reform, that would be it.

I have no expectations either way. We're feeling our way in the dark here. I think it's worth a shot, however. Free nations typically become allies.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
The United States is currently attempting to use the Domino theory to spread Democracy across the Middle East. Firstly, we invaded Afghanistan and installed a new democratic government. Next we have invaded Iraq and are in the process of installing a new government there as well. The question ultimately is, will all the resources and manpower poured into the Middle East to institute the domino theory pay off.



Ehm, what makes you think USA is trying to spread Democracy around? after all, there are plenty of non-democratic governments around, but I haven't seen any action towards them by USA.

The brainwashing works well. Apparently, Afghanistan is needed because 90% of opium in Europe comes from it. And Israel should have access to Iraqi oil.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:30 PM
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My understanding of the Domino Theory as it applied to vietnam had nothing to do causing a domino effect of Democracy, but rather preventing the domino effect of Communism. And, I think if you look at the history, the fall of Vietnam lead to the spread of communism throughout south east asia. It wasn't as massive as had been feared, but it did occur.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by masterp
Ehm, what makes you think USA is trying to spread Democracy around? after all, there are plenty of non-democratic governments around, but I haven't seen any action towards them by USA.

The brainwashing works well. Apparently, Afghanistan is needed because 90% of opium in Europe comes from it. And Israel should have access to Iraqi oil.


You gotta love this classic leftist kindergarten logic. "America says it is trying to spread freedom, but since they haven't invaded every country that isn't democratic this can't be true."

Utter stupidity.


Originally posted by Raphael_UO
My understanding of the Domino Theory as it applied to vietnam had nothing to do causing a domino effect of Democracy, but rather preventing the domino effect of Communism. And, I think if you look at the history, the fall of Vietnam lead to the spread of communism throughout south east asia. It wasn't as massive as had been feared, but it did occur.


That's correct.

Keep in mind that we had just "lost" China to communism only a few years earlier.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
So one has to beg the question does the domino theory really work? Did it work during the Vietnam War and will it work on the War on Terrorism?

´
To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a democratic domino theory in political science. There is no historical example to it, i'd even be inclined to say there are many counterexamples. (France became a republic in 1792, germany only in 1918, SK in 1958 NK still isnt) Poorly-educated people like administration officials tend to use such expressions, to signify that there is a brilliant, well-thought out theory behind her actions that is far too complex for you to understand.

Domino theory probably means something like : Make a democracy out of one country, and the neighbouring countries will see how great democracy and freedom are, and they will also become democracies.

This idea absurd for two reasons :

-Firstly because a nominal democracy does not automatically mean freedom. Take as an example the two-party system in the united states. Since the emergence of third parties or new social movements (greens, libertarians, socialists, black rights movement) could definitely thwart any presidentials candidates chances of election, such movements are being undermined and discredited by the ruling elites. A systemic conservative reflex that keeps new ideas from emerging. That is not freedom of thought, and does not prompt other nations to emulate it. Take another example : Iraq. Burdened by a hundred fifty billion dollars in new foreign debt by the US occupier, the iraqi people would, democracy or not, work the next thirty years mainly to cover Bush's war expenses. Nominal democracy, but no freedom. Certainly no iranian or syrian would want to emulate that.

-Secondly because of strategic reasons in the middle east. If Iraq becomes a democracy, and therefore an open society, it will be under huge influence by Syria and Iran. These regimes will be stabilized by their newly acquired power, instead of being destabilized as Bush would wish it. Saddam was fending off foreign influence by ruling with an iron hand. That isnt possible in a real democracy.

Conclusion : there is no democratic domino effect.



[edit on 23-11-2004 by Mokuhadzushi]



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 04:52 PM
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I was planning a to post a similar thread, but since this is here I figured I may as well save my fingers a little work and just post a few links for people to consider while considering whether the US is attempting to use the domino effect to spread Democracy.

Supreme Command and Strategic Purpose in Iraq
Democracy in Iraq?
The Broader Middle East Initiative: Requirements for Success in the Gulf
From: The National Security Strategy of the United States of America



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 05:23 PM
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You gotta love this classic leftist kindergarten logic. "America says it is trying to spread freedom, but since they haven't invaded every country that isn't democratic this can't be true."

Utter stupidity.


He he, nice USA behaviour. You tell them something, and instead of replying rationally, they just call you stupid.

So again, perhaps you may understand it this time:

Why USA does not have plans to bring democracy to other countries?

And furthermore, and most importantly, who asked you to play Earth's policeman?

You are just too brainwashed. Or, you are as guilty as your government is, so all you do is reproduce what you are being brainwashed with.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by masterp

You gotta love this classic leftist kindergarten logic. "America says it is trying to spread freedom, but since they haven't invaded every country that isn't democratic this can't be true."

Utter stupidity.


He he, nice USA behaviour. You tell them something, and instead of replying rationally, they just call you stupid.


Actually, I did reply rationally. Your logic is idiotic and it speaks for itself. We are trying to bring democracy to many nations. Your logic suggests that since we're not trying to bring democracy to all of the oh, 150 or more countries that are not democratic that we're not really trying to spread democracy.

We are actively trying to bring democracy to a free, sovereign Palestinian state. Just because the majority of Palestinians would rather see Israel destroyed doesn't mean we haven't tried. Just because we don't forcably change a regime doesn't mean we're not actively trying to. For example, Iran. Do we need to invade a country to help bring freedom to it? Are you aware of what Radio Free Europe is? Not sure if we're still broadcasting in the M.E., but we were at one point and the Iraqis tried to bomb it. Didn't we try to, successfully I might add, bring democracy to the former Soviet Union and Iron Curtain for over 50 years? How many people were freed by the end of the Cold War? How many people are free in Afghanistan? 25 million? How many more will be freed once this insurgency is crushed? 25 million? I'm sure these people are grateful we decided to play Global Policeman. Without the US the world would be in utter chaos and you would be hiding under a rock somewhere instead of exchanging insults on an internet discussion forum.

I'm not gonna insult your intelligence and try to say the US always acts on principle and not on national interests, otherwise we'd have reduced Khartoum to rubble by now, for example, but regardless of our ulterior motives our track record for promoting freedom is certainly leaps and bounds better than anyone else.

You have a nice day.



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