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Cheney, “They will do it their way...And that’s as it should be."

Sistani Wants Islam to Be Sole Source of Legislation
Naseer Al-Nahr/Arab News Original Article

Iraq’s Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani and another top cleric yesterday demanded that Islam be the sole source of legislation in the country’s new constitution. Hours later US Vice President Dick Cheney said Iraq has the right to shape its own democracy without becoming “an Iraqi version of America.”


Blogger Lieutenant Colonel Caveman said...

This statement from Vice President Cheney proves two points that have been batted around both in democratic circles and Arab circles.

First, US is in Iraq solely for the oil. The current US administration nor military has not tied anything it does to oil. While it has ensured the flow of oil, since this is in our strategic interest, it has not represented Iraq ever on oil issues. While the US will guide Iraq in its best interests, Iraq is free to choose how to manage its resources for its people.

Secondly, US is in Iraq to force its views on the Arab world. If this was the case, the US President would not let a statement such as the Vice President's stand. In full, the Vice President stated, "They will do it their way. They will do it in accordance with their culture and their history and their beliefs and whatever role they decide they want to have for religion in their society. And that’s as it should be." He reiterated that Iraq has the right to shape its own democracy without becoming “an Iraqi version of America.”

This is a powerful statement that cannot and should not be overlooked by people of the Middle East and specifically Iraq. An imperialist country, which the US has been accused of being, would seek sole and complete sovereignity over the country it has control over. While demanding democracy, the US is not pushing for Christianity. While a Christian Democracy would be more to the US' liking, it is not a prerequisite for America. Democracy is mandatory, but not Christianity is not.

Interesting to note is that there exists two overwhelming factors that have allowed America to be a leader of nations in its relatively short history.

First, it is a Capitalistic Democracy. It is ran by business people. Everything it does (right) in its history has been to promote the free exercise of entrepreneurs and business persons (big or small). It does not seek to own business' as part of the government like many Socialists countries do (Airbus is an example); it just seeks to allow private business' the freedom to grow, employ people, and expand. This is the number one factor which has allowed the US economy to grow more efficient and faster on average than any other national economy.

Lately, America has adopted a policy of ensuring all persons are cared for from "Cradle to Grave". Germany is wrestling with itself and people at this moment as it tries to reduce this "Cradle to Grave" mentality by reducing support through its Hart reforms. Hart IV portions of these reforms have just been enacted in Germany in January 2005. They seek to limit government subsidies to corporations and individuals to create more independent people who are not such a burden on the government. President Bush (and before him, President Clinton) is attempting to do the same thing with Social Security reform.

2. While it promotes Christian ideals (mainly the ideal of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"), it does not impose religion on anybody. Everybody is free to come to America and practice whatever religion they want, be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinuism, or any other version of religion. It is this religious diveristy which has resulted in the current strength in America. Diversity has resulted in peoples from many different places migrating to America and forming the heart and soul of Americans.

As an example, I just learned the other day the reason there doesn't exist ham in a hamburger. It is the same reason there isn't a frank in a frankfurter or hot dog. Hamburgers, that all American delight, were not originally developed in America. They were; however, developed in Hamburg, Germany and brought to America by immigrants from Hamburg. Hot dogs, or frankfurter, were brought to America by immigrants from Frankfurt, Germany.

I don't mean to oversimplify the point here, but just want express what makes America uniquely American. America is a melting pot for all persons from all different societies. As people from different societies come to America, America adapts and takes in the best ideas and cultures from other societies and makes them American.

It is this melting and morphing of several different societies and cultures into America, along with a Capitalistic Democracy, that allows these new ideas and ways of doing things which has allowed productivity to increase and has thereby resulted in such a strong and vibrant country that is the world leader, whether it be in space, military, technology, fast food, or any other industry.

While the US will not impose an “an Iraqi version of America", it would behoove any country that wants to be a world leader to look at America and understand why it is such a great and vibrant nation. However, the most important factor in freedom is democracy.

With democracy, self-government for the people by the people, results in abundant resources and stability. All three of these conditions are necessary for freedom.

A capitalistic democracy ensures all personnel in the democracy are able to attain whatever they choose to obtain. It does not guarantee success, it offers it.

Religious tolerance ensures ideas from different cultures and societies continue to promote a diverse and vibrant economy. It is what makes America so great.

In summary, the US will demand a democracy in Iraq. The US would like to see religious tolerance, but it is not mandatory. A capitalistic democracy and religious tolerance is what has made America a leader of nations. However, democracy is first and foremost important. The other parts of the equation will determine how well Iraq will excel and thrive in the coming years.

Monday, 07 February, 2005  

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