RE: [Iraq] The real reason for the war

From: Ramez Naam (
Date: Sat Jun 07 2003 - 17:41:30 MDT

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    > you will find that the leaders, Egypt especially, are trying
    > desperately to hold the lid on before they are either chased
    > out of country or left swinging from a lamp pole.

    Most of the dictators who rule the arab countries are indeed
    frightened of democracy.

    > Yet the best advice MEZ can give us is not to send so
    > many bombs and missiles.

    I have made, in this thread and others, concrete proposals.

    1) That the US should refuse to support dictatorial regimes (Saudi
    Arabia, Egypt, etc..) unless those regimes are taking concrete and
    measurable steps towards democracy, open market, civil liberties, a
    free press, the rule of law, and so on.

    2) That the US should dramatically increase its foreign aid to the
    region (and to much of the rest of the world) and focus that aid on
    incentives for nations to implement the political and economic reforms
    I list above.

    US foreign aid spending is currently about 1/20th of US military and
    security spending. A rational foreign policy would balance out the
    carrot and the stick a bit more.

    3) That the US reserve the use of military force as a last resort.
    Indeed, I believe Iraq was a particularly heinous situation. And with
    a US administration who I trusted to implement a long-range foreign
    policy that made sense, I could have been convinced to support
    military action.

    > At first MEZ gave his advice because he was a middle
    > easterner and therefore held special expertise. Now he is a
    > poor Egyptian Christian that hasn't been in the country since
    > he was 3 years old. At first he lambasted the US and its
    > policies, now he is a loyal American and I mustn't criticize
    > him.

    Your post sheds much heat but little light. As I posted in a previous
    conversation with you a few months ago, I'm an atheist. I was born to
    parents of a christian minority in Egypt. I moved to the US at age 3
    and am culturally american (or as culturally american as an atheist
    transhumanist can be). Living here has not prevented me from
    traveling the world, and in particular from visiting the place I was
    born or conversing with people who live in that region.

    > Only one thing
    > is consistant with him, everything he says is detrimental to
    > our country, IMHO.

    Demonizing those who you disagree with is so convenient, isn't it?
    Yet it does nothing to address the issues. I've posted my analysis of
    the situation, the evidence which supports that analysis, and the
    proposals for future action that arise from it. All you've posted
    here are insults, distortions of the views of others, and vague
    opinions which you have yet to back up.

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