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Dictators and other criminals

by on 22/06/2014

Dear Ian, I have to say your analysis of the politics in Syria, Iraq is rather oversimplified. The problem is, that these countries, and you could add other failed countries like most of the Arab and African countries,since they were left after the decolonization to self rule, failed to created a functioning state, whose main aim is to improve the living condition of its citizens. Unfortunately in all these countries, and by the way also in most of the post communistic countries including the mentioned Czech and Slovak republic the only occupation of the political leadership is how to rob the country and enrich themselves. It seems to me that this kind of political behavior is caused by total loss of ideological intentionality, and also existence of masses, who still did not figure out how to control the acts of their leaders. By the way in Czech Republic few month ago the leading political party, that brought the corruption to unprecedented level, were almost completely wiped out from the political scenery. It seems the Czech citizens were the first to understand that in democracy they do have the power to punish the corrupt politician. Still it has to be seen if these corrupt politicians, who damaged the economy and the social fabric of the country, and almost succeeded to create skepticism among the people towards democracy, will be put on trial for their criminal deeds.

But this happened in Czech republic, country in the very heart of Europe, with some democratic tradition, and well educated people.

As contrary to it in the failed countries, (Arab, some Asian and African) there are relatively few educated people, and their education system is anachronistic, often based on memorization and not understanding, not to speak about exclusion of women from the education process due to cultural reason etc. This results alternative way of thinking of most of the population of these countries, not based on critical thinking and verification of evidences, but acceptance of traditional values and epical stories as dogmatic truth. And these epics are full of idealization of the Us, and hate and dehumanization and demonization of the others. And here you have the ideology of permission to kill. Add to it the growing population together with economic stagnation in these countries, concentration of the wealth in very few hands, mostly generated by unfair practices, like misusing political power and restricting competition etc.Then you have environmental catastrophes caused by general mismanagement of countries resources, and then not surprisingly you find that it is not just about political fragmentation, but more basic issues of economics, society, beliefs, ideologies etc.

  • Dear Eugene, of course my comments were oversimplified. What I am trying to do is to isolate some of the requirements for how governance should work. I do not claim to know the lot, and all I seem to be able to do in the novels I write is to illustrate the faults with whatever system I pick on. Your comments on the Czech republic highlight an additional requirement for governance to be for the benefit of the people: an absence of corruption, and that requires law enforcement above the government, and it requires a strong message from the citizens that corruption will not be tolerated, and it requires a mechanism (such as elections) that will remove a government that gets out of line. However, the topic of the post was limited to whether secession is desirable in these places. There are a number of corrupt governments around the world that seem to be stable. They do this by applying the corruption evenly! That is bad governance, but it does not necessarily lead to splits.

    Your last paragraph summarises fairly nicely what is wrong with the “democracy” concept that was imposed on those countries, which in turn were never countries prior to western intervention. Iraq was a particularly bad example, the boundaries being drawn with a ruler by some self-styled geographer after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. If the people refuse to analyse and vote for policies and instead vote for the religious/tribal/whatever head, that effectively is a vote for someone to pillage the treasury. Nevertheless, I dispute to some extent the idea that Iraq was always badly governed by Saddam. Yes, he was a dictator, and his war with Iran was disastrous, although I am far from convinced that there was not US “egging on” going on then. However, before the invasion of Kuwait, provided you were not planning a revolt, the evidence seemed to be that Iraqis enjoyed a high standard of living, with good health and educational benefits. The question then is, does the average citizen care that much who governs if their lifestyle if good? I rather fancy many Iraqis would prefer the conditions then to now.

    • Dear Ian, from Your comment about Saddam Husein it is obvious that You know very little about Saddam Husein and his acts. Even before his war against Iran, during the Shah regime, when Iran was the dominant force in the region of the Arab-Persian golf he was nothing else but a murderer. From the very first moment of his appearance on the political scenery his way of acting was bloody and murderous (according to rumors he personally killed one of his family members on his road to grasp the power). During the Kurdish uprising in the late seventies he committed war crimes, murdered hundreds of thousand civilians and used chemical weapons .

      The very best example of his character was his act in the assembly of the Ba’ath party on July 1979 a long way before any signs of war initiation against Iraqi neighbors.

      During this assembly, Saddam claimed to find treason within the Ba’ath Party and forced one party member to read list of names of alleged co-conspirators.These members were removed from the assemble room one by one and taken into custody and most of them murdered by firing squad made of other high-ranking members of the party. By 1 August 1979, hundreds of high-ranking Ba’ath party members themselves. After this Saddam congratulated to those party members who were not part of the “conspiracy” and made them partners in the country leadership. They, out of horror and fear became loyal to him like flock of sheep.
      His social and economic achievement were nothing more than cynical usage of the newly found wealth after the 1973 oil price jump, initiated by the way by the Iranian Shah, to increase his personal popularity. But this policy of investment in economy and social services was short lived, and Saddam very fast started to use Iraqi wealth to military spending and his atom weapon program supported by the French president, Jacques Chirac,the criminal politician, who among other crimes initiated atomic bomb tests in the pacific in the eighties, when everyone knew the horrific consequences of such a test to the environment. Luckily for the world and the region Israel destroyed the Saddam’s intention to become atomic weapon power.
      Then Saddam initiated war against Iran, where he used again chemical weapons to prevent military catastrophe,

      During his reign, according to his own account he murdered about 2 million Iraqi citizens. The mass graves discovered after his downfall proved that he was not exaggerating at all.

      The truth is US interference in Iraq, mainly the second Iraqi war, was catastrophic because of misunderstanding of George Bush the junior and his co-partners of the political and military realities in the region. He was confused by the annoyingly aggressive military speeches of Saddam, that had no coverage of military strength behind.
      Yes the US political leadership can be many times horrendously ignorant about the world out of US, they are supposed to lead.

      Here i would come to my opinion about the major problem of democratic-liberal political systems, that feel secure enough from any outside threat as contrary to the despoticly ruled countries. It seems, liberal societies that are managed relatively smoothly and are not threatened by some external enemy, have tendency to create within few decades a rather stable political elite, that concentrates most of the political power and economic wealth. As to the masses, that do not participate in this fete, the elites share with them a pinch from their generated wealth, so as to give them hope for better future. From time to time this system collapses with a economic crises, and a new redistribution of the wealth occurs among the elites. The masses in this scenarios pay the most heavy price, and if they feel their situation is unbearable any more, they may rise and destroy the whole political system if they are successful. The last economic crisis could be catastrophic if those very elites that brought it wouldn’t have the tools to prevent a total collapse. But it seems the modern economy do have the tools to prevent a total collapse, as contrary to what happened in 1929, when all the world leaders made all the mistakes they could do.
      Conclusion; Not only the despotic leaders have tendency to neglect the masses and endanger the political and social stability, but also Liberal-Democratic political systems.


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