Freedom for all, not just Americans

Ron,

  You make good points -- I'm not at all sure that the Bush
administration will successfully install a sound democratic system in
Iraq, let alone other parts of the Middle East. I don't necessarily
feel it is a conflict between Islam and American-style democracy. An
American-installed Iraqi government shows no sign of being any more
hostile to Islam than Saddam Hussein was. But if you're right and that
is the nature of the conflict, can there be any question of which side
we ought to be supporting?

Yours in liberty,
            <<< Starchild >>>

Dear Starchild;

My point was not what you or I would do in giving Libertarian
principles to the people of Iraq or the Middle East. So they could
adapt Libertarian principles to their cultural values.

My grave concern is Bush and his neo-con buddies imposing their
viewpoint of what democracy means to them on the people of Iraq.
And if Bush and his buddies can make it happen - the rest of the
Middle East.

For Bush and his neo-cons are ignoring the reality of the situation
in Iraq while trying to install democracy. The battle is not over
democracy vs. non-democracy. It is Islam throughout the world vs.
democracy in Iraq, American style. If Islam can defeat Ameican style
democracy, culutural values and systems then America is finished
throughout the Middle East.

Bush and his good old buddies are fighting a war of high technolgy
vs. ideology. Just look at the latest donkey cart rocket attack. All
the high tech military gizmos couldn't stop a donkey cart rocket
attack.

Ideology will always win because you can not kill an ideology. And
you can not replace an ideology by fiat with democracy. When you
have an ideology which can get people to be suicide bombers try
using high tech to stop them.

The simple fact is Bush is in a Revolutionary War in Iraq with
guerillas being the first step. In succesful fights against a
guerilla war the ratio of 15 - 20 offensive troops against each
guerilla is needed. Bush would need three times the 140,000 troops
he has there to win in Iraq.

This is based on an adult male population of about 12 million. Then
taking into account those who were members of the elite Republican
Guards and others who did receive military training. You easily have
a guerilla force of some 25,000.

Libertarian principles are great to talk about and what they could
do for the people of Iraq or the Middle East. But neither you or I
have a ghost of a chance of getting up to the plate to even show
what these principles could mean in a free Iraq.

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

--- In lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Starchild <sfdreamer@e...>
wrote:

Ron,

  Since I doubt President Bush will get back to you, I'll give

you my

response. 8) I believe everyone in the world deserves the

benefits of

living in a libertarian society. Within these societies, they

would be

free to form voluntary communities with different values,

standards,

and rules, as long as they did not attempt to force them on

others. As

Chris Maden stated in a previous email, that's a key facet of
libertarianism -- it is compatible with all kinds of diverse

cultures,

values and beliefs as long as they are peaceful, whereas statist
systems are not.

  I don't think individual liberty is an "American" value. It

is a

contradiction in terms to speak of "forcing" libertarianism on

anyone,

imho, because it is by definition the state of affairs in which

people

are not subject to legal coercion. (While it may not be possible

to

abolish coercion entirely, that ought to be the light by which we

set

our bearings.) The Japanese have largely embraced "American"

values of

government despite this "foreign value system" being "imposed by

force"

after WWII, and Japan is now the second-wealthiest country in the

world.

  Property rights, civil liberties like free speech, religious
plurality, the right to self defense, the right to self-medicate,

and

freedom from economic regulations and controls are not American or
Judeo-Christian values any more than they are Arabian or Islamic
values. These values are more prevalent in developed Western

countries

not *because* of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but in spite of

it. The

spirit of scientific enlightenment that flourished in the "Age of
Reason" and the example of Athenian democracy handed down from

ancient

Greece have done much more to help Europe and America escape the
shackles of state oppression than the Judeo-Christian influence.

If the

popes and rabbis had gotten their way, we'd still be living in the

Dark

Ages.

  The governments of Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia should each

start by

writing a good, secular, libertarian-style constitution, and

seeing

that any official who knowingly violates its terms immediately

loses

his or her job and is banned from government employment. Implement

a

jury system for all offenses, cease prosecuting any victimless

crimes,

and invite non-governmental civics organizations and libertarians

from

other countries to come in and teach people about exercising their
rights in a free society. Privatize significant state-owned assets

such

as mosques and Islamic holy sites and give them to peaceful

religious

groups in order to cultivate goodwill among the moderate religious
majority and make it clear that the separation of church and state
isn't an attack on Islam. Meanwhile, defund the extremist madrasas
(religious schools) that are currently teaching jihad, hatred of

Jews,

and other harmful doctrines, and create incentives for victims of
violence to bring lawsuits against the fundamentalist clerics and
organizations who sponsor and incite such acts. Establish new

political

parties, NGOs, and independent media outlets, with state support

at

first if necessary to get the ball rolling. After a suitable

length of

time has gone by and these fundamental institutions have gotten on
their feet, start holding elections. Begin at the local level in

small

jurisdictions, so that people can be taught about the electoral

process

as it is established, and elections can be closely monitored for

any

abuses, and gradually expand to other areas and to the national

level.

  We no longer see "domestic violence" as more acceptable than

street

violence, even within a voluntary marriage -- we urge the police

to

intervene in true cases of spousal and child abuse. If the

officers

come from a different national, ethnic or cultural background than

the

family, this is not particularly important. Can there be any doubt

of

the horrible abuses being perpetrated by various governments,

including

many in the Middle East, against "their" citizens? Why should an

entire

country be off-limits to outside action to correct serious and
systematic abuses, when the validity of external intervention is
recognized even in intimate family situations? What "imperial

right" do

members of the Saudi royal family have to maintain their legal
privileges and enforce their statist and strict Islamic views of
government over all the people of Saudi Arabia in violation of

those

peoples' inalienable natural rights?

Yours in liberty,
            <<< Starchild >>>

Dear Everyone;

Starchild in part said he thought Bush gave a good speech calling
for greater democracy in the Arab world and reform in Egypt,

Syria

Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps Bush or Starchild could explain which version of

democracy

they would like to see installed in Iraq or Arabia.

L. Paul Bremer, America's chief postwar Iraq administrator said

in

part, " The United States will help write an interim Iraqi
constitution that embodies American values and will lead to the
creation of a new government. The interim constitution will also
provide in a limited time, probably two years, for a permanent
constitution to be written that also embodies American values."

How do you impose a foreign cultural value system on another

people?

What force do you use on other people to make them adapt a

foreign

cultural value system? Do you also force them to accept new

moral,

ethical, civil and religious values in their daily lives so they
will be more eager to agree to a new foreign value system?

American cultural democracy is based on a Judeo-Christian value
system which evolved in western Europe over several hundred

years.

In Iraq you have an Arabic cultural value system which evolved

over

several hundred years based on the Muslim religion.

What imperial right does the Bush administration have to brush

aside

several hundred years of Arabic-Muslim cultural values and by

fiat

or force install an American style democracy value system in

Iraq?

Perhaps someone could give an explanation of this.

This imposition of democracy is the direct antithesis of

Libertarian

principles. How could someone support the Bush version of

democracy

in Iraq where it would be forced on the Iraqis whether they

liked it

or not?

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

--- In lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Starchild <sfdreamer@e...>
wrote:

Chris,

  I wasn't aware of "us" doing anything in Iraq. I did (and

do) support

the U.S. government's military action against Saddam Hussein's

regime.

My enthusiasm for it was rather lukewarm due to the methods

used,

the

funding, and the context of other abuses in the "war on

terrorism," but

on balance I believe it was a step in the right direction. I

also

thought Bush gave a good speech recently calling for greater

democracy

in the Arab world and specifically mentioning the need for

reform

in

Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Yours in liberty,
            <<< Starchild >>>

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