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  • Spreading democracy

    Should the US be in the business of spreading and defending "democracy" around the world?

    For example, should it spent lots of money and blood defending a small hamlet in the Falklands from a possibly oppressive local government by helping Britain (which wants the oil there) take it?

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2...-relationships
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

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  • #2
    Re: Spreading democracy

    No.

    The only spreading it should do is giving hints and tips to nations that want to become democratic. Although France helped the US colony split from British rule, the colony status of that time is completely different that overthrowing a government today.
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    • #3
      Re: Spreading democracy

      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
      Should the US be in the business of spreading and defending "democracy" around the world?
      Absolutely not, we do more harm than we do good every time we intervene militarily overseas - I'm speaking towards the modern War on Terror era. Just take Iraq for example, and ask the question: Are the Iraqi people better off today than they were in 2003 before the US invaded? Sadly, the answer is no.

      Also, the term 'spreading democracy' is nothing more than a 'feel good' name for American Imperialism - it just makes the American people 'feel better' about dropping bombs on foreign countries and killing people. Read this speech by Ron Paul about the illusion of 'spreading democracy':

      The Muslim world is not fooled by our talk about spreading democracy and values. The evidence is too overwhelming that we do not hesitate to support dictators and install puppet governments when it serves our interests. When democratic elections result in the elevation of a leader or party not to our liking, we do not hesitate for a minute to undermine that government. This hypocrisy is rarely recognized by the American people. Itís much more comfortable to believe in slogans, to believe that weíre defending our goodness and spreading true liberty. We accept this and believe strongly in the cause, strongly enough to sacrifice many of our sons and daughters, and stupendous amounts of money, to spread our ideals through force. Source.


      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
      For example, should it spent lots of money and blood defending a small hamlet in the Falklands from a possibly oppressive local government by helping Britain (which wants the oil there) take it?
      The US helping Britain in this case would be as misguided and wrong as the British government was in helping the US invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

      The author of this article you quoted - Justin Raimondo - nailed it. He has made many enemies over the years writing about US foreign policy - some of his opinions I agree with, some I don't. Lately even some fellow libertarians have attacked him - namely those at Reason Magazine and the Cato Institute - but he has always been resolute in his beliefs. The truth is that some libertarians don't want to touch the War on Terror issue, because it's just too controversial. They claim all the other atributes of Libertarianism, but conveniently leave out the non-interventionist foreign policy aspect.
      |TG-X| mp40x



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      • #4
        Re: Spreading democracy

        Originally posted by mp40x View Post
        Just take Iraq for example, and ask the question: Are the Iraqi people better off today than they were in 2003 before the US invaded? Sadly, the answer is no.
        I think you need to re-examine whatever you believe to be the situation in Iraq. Iraq is MUCH better off as a nation now than they were in 2002.

        The truth is that some libertarians don't want to touch the War on Terror issue, because it's just too controversial. They claim all the other atributes of Libertarianism, but conveniently leave out the non-interventionist foreign policy aspect.
        I consider myself to hold libertarian beliefs, but am not a Libertarian (I don't support the Libertarian Party). I believe that supporting the international interests of our country is one of the functions for which we need a federal government. I also believe that protecting our sovereign borders is a vital function of the federal government. Lower forms of government can do neither of these two things fairly or effectively, and yet, for some strange reason, the Libertarian Party wants the federal gov't to stop doing its job in those two areas. Insanity.
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        • #5
          Re: Spreading democracy

          "Spreading respect for human rights and equality and the Rule of Law" I don't have a problem with.

          The problem is what american "democracy" looks like in practical application nowadays.

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          • #6
            Re: Spreading democracy

            Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
            I think you need to re-examine whatever you believe to be the situation in Iraq. Iraq is MUCH better off as a nation now than they were in 2002.
            While they may be better off it wasn't our job to do it unilaterally, the reasons given to act were found out to be false, and the process of forcing a specific type of government on the country was Imperialistic as it was simply a tool to placate the population so they will sell us oil in the future. Doing this because we disapprove of the old government would be like Canada invading and instituting a new government for the US because we allow the death penalty (obviously a scale difference but the foundation is the same).

            I consider myself to hold libertarian beliefs, but am not a Libertarian (I don't support the Libertarian Party). I believe that supporting the international interests of our country is one of the functions for which we need a federal government. I also believe that protecting our sovereign borders is a vital function of the federal government. Lower forms of government can do neither of these two things fairly or effectively, and yet, for some strange reason, the Libertarian Party wants the federal gov't to stop doing its job in those two areas. Insanity.
            The militia, made up of state run soldiers, is what defends us from invasion. I don't understand the concept of protecting out borders other than an invasion when talking about military action. Immigration, foreign visitors and returning citizens at the border should be addressed by immigration type positions and wouldn't be 'protected' by the military. 'Lower forms' of governments, by which I assume you mean the states, are only subpar because the Fed's take over of that responsibility means they don't have to try.
            |TG-6th|Snooggums

            Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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            • #7
              Re: Spreading democracy

              Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
              I believe that supporting the international interests of our country is one of the functions for which we need a federal government.
              What are "international interests"? I'm guessing you don't mean cheap oil and cheap labor.

              I also believe that protecting our sovereign borders is a vital function of the federal government.
              I wasn't aware that the Party opposed that function. It might oppose doing so offensively, though (eg. by preemptively attacking possible threats, such as with Iraq and Afghanistan). There are certainly different factions in the Party with different ideas about that. But you usually don't hear about that controversy except in insider newsletters during primary season.
              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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              • #8
                Re: Spreading democracy

                Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                Iraq is MUCH better off as a nation now than they were in 2002.
                I don't think anybody really knows this. I have heard some Iraqis say they are better off and some say they aren't. "Experts" are all over the place as well. I would say they have more potential as a country but that there is no guarantee that the potential will be realized. They still have electricity shortages and their infrastructure is not as good as it was before 2002. But it is getting better all the time. Some would say that the life lost was not worth the gain in potential.

                I would also say that Iraq is a better country with regard to it's neighbors and the US in that it doesn't present as much danger but also can export it's oil.
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                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
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                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
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                • #9
                  Re: Spreading democracy

                  Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                  While they may be better off it wasn't our job to do it unilaterally, the reasons given to act were found out to be false, and the process of forcing a specific type of government on the country was Imperialistic as it was simply a tool to placate the population so they will sell us oil in the future.
                  "Imperialistic" is a bit too strong of a word, IMO, but I get your point, and I agree. Again, I believe that protecting our nation's interests, by allying with friendly governments and encouraging new governments to be friendly is a vital function of our federal government. Did we make some errors in the way we handled Iraq? Absolutely.

                  The militia, made up of state run soldiers, is what defends us from invasion. I don't understand the concept of protecting out borders other than an invasion when talking about military action. Immigration, foreign visitors and returning citizens at the border should be addressed by immigration type positions and wouldn't be 'protected' by the military. 'Lower forms' of governments, by which I assume you mean the states, are only subpar because the Fed's take over of that responsibility means they don't have to try.
                  In the United States, the militia is made up of all able bodied citizens. "State run soldiers" make up other types of organized armies...

                  And I'm not proposing that we need the military on the border, only that border control (immigration and customs issues) is exactly the type of national security concern that needs to be taken care of by our federal government. The fact that border control is tighter in some areas and nonexistent in others would make it pointless (and is a problem that smugglers exploit now, even with federal control). Basically, I was pointing out that immigration enforcement (and foreign policy) is not a contradiction to libertarian ideals (even though it does contradict Libertarian ideals).
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                  • #10
                    Re: Spreading democracy

                    Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                    I think you need to re-examine whatever you believe to be the situation in Iraq. Iraq is MUCH better off as a nation now than they were in 2002.
                    Before we get into the intricacies of the tremendous suffering - and what caused it - of the Iraqi people, watch this documentary - if you have time - and get back to me. Also, this film only touches base on some of the problems of post invasion Iraq.

                    |TG-X| mp40x



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                    • #11
                      Re: Spreading democracy

                      Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                      I don't think anybody really knows this. I have heard some Iraqis say they are better off and some say they aren't. "Experts" are all over the place as well. I would say they have more potential as a country but that there is no guarantee that the potential will be realized. They still have electricity shortages and their infrastructure is not as good as it was before 2002. But it is getting better all the time. Some would say that the life lost was not worth the gain in potential.

                      I would also say that Iraq is a better country with regard to it's neighbors and the US in that it doesn't present as much danger but also can export it's oil.
                      Nationally, their infrastructure is immeasurably better than it was before! Parts of Iraq that have never had electricity are now wired for the internet! Prior to our invasion there was a single T1 line connecting their entire nation to the rest of the world. Look at their access now! Care to count the number of elementary schools that have been built in the last five years? How about water quality and distribution? Uncensored access to information?

                      Sure, some of the rich parts of Baghdad have had their service suffer now that their electrical service is going out to so many more people, but, as a nation, I think you'll find it difficult to argue that they're worse off now than before we went in...
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                      • #12
                        Re: Spreading democracy

                        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                        Nationally, their infrastructure is immeasurably better than it was before! Parts of Iraq that have never had electricity are now wired for the internet! Prior to our invasion there was a single T1 line connecting their entire nation to the rest of the world. Look at their access now! Care to count the number of elementary schools that have been built in the last five years? How about water quality and distribution? Uncensored access to information?

                        Sure, some of the rich parts of Baghdad have had their service suffer now that their electrical service is going out to so many more people, but, as a nation, I think you'll find it difficult to argue that they're worse off now than before we went in...
                        The availability of information is a good thing. And there have been improvements since 2003. I haven't followed that closely but according to what little I have heard is that there are certain areas and towns, especially some smaller ones up north in the area of the Kurds, that are doing wonderful. But many places are still experienced shortages of electricity last summer. Much more of their electricity is being imported from the likes of Iran.

                        I also heard a minister talk about his trip there. He had traveled there before the 91 invasion. He says some places are just horrible and just as dangerous as ever. He also said that tolerance for the christian faith has completely disappeared in places that had it in the past.

                        So I don't know if you can say the Nation as a whole is better. Parts of it certainly are. Parts of it not so much. Of course neither of us know for sure and are just trusting the reporting.

                        And I don't think that the entire country was served by a T1 line. The entire country used only 1.5 megabits/sec? If so that is amazing and I would like to read about it. Where did you get that information?
                        Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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                        • #13
                          Re: Spreading democracy

                          Gringo, I encourage you to overlook the bias of the mass media and to do a little research yourself. I get most of my information about how things "are" from people that have just come from their country or are just about to go back. Everyone Iraqi that I've talked to since, oh, around 2007-ish say that their country is a better place than before. They're not all happy with the politics that made it that way, but they admit that it's improved.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Spreading democracy

                            Cing, if the only information you're getting is from people who are visiting or immigrating to the US, then your views based of this information will also be "biased" because you sampling is very likely not a good representative cross section of the Iraqi population. I put 'biased' in scare quotes, because it's not your intent to skew the information to back a view; rather, it's that your methodology looks like it will inherently skew the information. What are the kinds of Iraqis that visit or immigrate to the US? Are they representative of the typical Iraqi or at least a very wide range of Iraqis? I don't have any good information on the demographics of US immigrating or visiting Iraqis, but my educated guess is that it's not representative. Do you have good reason to believe it is?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Spreading democracy

                              Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                              For example, should it spent lots of money and blood defending a small hamlet in the Falklands from a possibly oppressive local government by helping Britain (which wants the oil there) take it?
                              Which oppressive local Government?
                              Anger is a gift - Malcolm X

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