More later on the questions
I want to thank Ali and LouLou for the answers they have already given to the series of questions. I will be reposting the sections of question 4 later today, and adding more. And I will be responding to the answers I have already given. But I have to interrupt this to mention a news story.
It will come as no surprise to those who have read this that I fear a long-term and explosive confrontation between Muslims and the West. But that fear has nothing to do with the War in Iraq, which I have opposed from the beginning. If you look back into the archives, you'll even see a discussion of why I think George Bush took us there.
But once we were there, I, at first, hoped we'd manage to make some good out of a mistake, that we WOULD manage to start Iraq on the path towards Democracy -- which I feel is a necessity for any country.
After a while I began to change my feelings. I looked at the history of the last century and realized that no country has managed to create a government in another country through invasion and occupation -- except in one circumstance, when the previous government has STARTED a war that proved disastrous to the country. (Germany after both world wars, Japan after the second, maybe Afghanistan now.)
Countries HAVE been able to overthrow a government, get out, and aid the people to create their own -- WWI gives many examples, as does Panama in the last decade. And the USSR managed to hold governments in power longer than anyone else, by using tactics and pressure no democratic government would, but even in most of those governments they started with an indigenous faction.
But the failures, from the 'white Army' invasion of the young USSR, to the attempt to determine the fate of the post Ottoman Turkey, through Vichy France, Greece after WWII, Vietnam, Cuba, "Mainland China's" pressure on Taiwan, even the fall of the colonial regimes shows this does NOT work.
I had to hope that America would set a deadline and tell Iraq it was on its own, that the US would supply economic aid, rebuilding aid, but not to provide troops after a certain point, maybe six months to a year from now. I think it would have worked.
But, just yesterday I read a story...