Forum Discussion

This post is in response to the toon below (click to enlarge)
Cartoon on anti-war protesters (October 3, 2005 6:59 PM)
Posted by: Taylor Scheiner
This is great! Everyone should see this, it is so true.

Re: Cartoon on anti-war protesters (October 8, 2005 4:43 PM)
Posted by: David Millson
>This is great! Everyone should see this, it is
>so true.
Re: Cartoon on anti-war protesters (October 13, 2005 8:55 PM)
Posted by: Adam Wiswell
now if only we could convince the liberals of it
Cartoon on Bush responding to war critics (February 20, 2006 10:24 PM)
Posted by: Ashley Wiley
This cartoon only shows one side of Iraq. Itís ok to say its true and its great, on that one issue. For me I will wait until our men stop dieing left and right or even come home before I say itís great or good.
Cartoon on anti-war protesters (February 21, 2006 12:22 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
http://sgthook.com/2005/11/17/taste-of-freedom/

Here Ashley, read this. I'm not saying it's a conclusive answer to everything, but it might be enlightening.
Cartoon on Bush responding to war critics (February 21, 2006 1:11 AM)
Posted by: Ashley Wiley
That was very enlightening. So much so that I will restate my comment and even go deeper into it. Itís great that elections are finally happening. But what we need to understand as Americans is that our view of freedom and democracy is different then lets say the Iraqi people, that they might have different ideals. I agree that people should have civil liberties, civil rights etc. Liberating the Iraqi people is a noble cause indeed and I as an American am proud of our men and women. But I worry that we judge the outcome of these elections too soon. One fellow American once stated that "you can be certain and be wrong." Personally I hope that we are certain and right about the outcome. One thing that I donít understand, maybe you can answer me, why is the United States not acknowledging HAMAS, and the elections as valid. I realize that HAMAS has been and is being giving the name of terrorists. But why validate one election but not the other. What gives us that right? If you praise one country for having fair and balanced election then why not another. And if your going to say that HAMAS will no doubt take away liberties and freedoms from their people, then donít look any further then Russia. Putin has increased state control over the media, and abolished elections of regional governors. But many believe that Russia is still a democracy. Democracy is an ideal with many faces and steps. Itís not just black white or no or yes. I therefore believe that our type, or view of democracy should be put aside in dealing with Iraq, we must be bystanders only there to share advice. A democracy must fit the nation in which it is to protect.
Cartoon on anti-war protesters (February 21, 2006 2:04 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
I fully agree that Hamas and Putin are both duly and democratically elected. In fact, it even seems like Hamas won fair and square, with few intimidation tactics evident. That doesn't mean I'm not worried that they might be bad for their countries, and even that they might stifle free elections when their terms expire... but for now, I'll call them legitimate.

Putin abolishing regional elections, on the other hand, is the first step from democracy to totalitarianism... so that merits close scrutiny. Also, true democracy (or rather, republicanism... little "r", there are no technical democracies anymore, only republics) requires not only free elections, but also free speech, so that the elections can be properly informed and so that the current officials can be challenged. If Hamas allows this, and if Putin returns to this, then they've got democracy... otherwise not.

There are many forms of democracy, I agree, but there are certain core tenets that we *do* have an obligation to insist on. For instance, I believe that it is actually impossible to democratically elect a fundamentalist theocracy, even if the majority votes for it. The reason for this is that once that theocracy is in place, it destroys democracy by failing to allow criticism of the party in power (because, of course, if they're God/Allah's servants, then to criticize them is to criticize the religion... which is punishable under any fundamentalist regime). For another example, it is impossible to democratically vote to disenfranchise a subset of the citizenry (e.g. women, in the case of an Islamist regime... "Islamist" being distinct from merely "Islamic"). The reason again being that such a move is inherently fatal to democracy.

The fundamental concept of democracy is that everyone is inherently equal. This doesn't necessarily require equality of *result* (which is a uniquely liberal idea), but I think the Left and the Right can agree that democracy cannot tolerate blatant and invidious discrimination.
Cartoon on Bush responding to war critics (February 21, 2006 9:56 PM)
Posted by: Ashley Wiley
I agree and disagree but I wonít get into it.

"One thing that I donít understand, maybe you can answer me, why is the United States not acknowledging HAMAS, and the elections as valid."
I was hoping that you would answer my question. You stated your opinion; you stated your definition of democracy/republicanism. You then stated that you believed it impossible to democratically elect a fundamentalist theocracy. (If my paraphrasing is wrong let me know) Do you truly believe that the Iraqi government can succeed and not become a fundamentalist theocracy? I know you put "Islamist" being distinct from merely "Islamic", but I'm just curious about what you think. Iím not trying to debate or start anything, just asking a question.
Cartoon on anti-war protesters (February 21, 2006 10:11 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
Well, whether the Iraqi government (and Hamas) can succeed without degrading from democracy into oppression will be told only by time. I did say, on the other hand, that I do think the Hamas elections are valid per se, just that that doesn't guarantee that their rule will indefinitely *continue* to be legitimate.

Also, the difference between "Islamic" and "Islamist" is that the former is only a religious adjective, while the latter describes a religio-political ideal that includes the rule of an Islamic fundamentalist theocracy.
Cartoon on Bush responding to war critics (February 21, 2006 10:34 PM)
Posted by: Ashley Wiley
Well thank you for clearing that up. I agree with you that only time will tell. Thatís what I referred to when I said that I will wait until our men and women come home. For when they come home the war will be over, the legitimacy of Iraqís government will be obtained. I hope anyway!
Cartoon on anti-war protesters (February 22, 2006 1:33 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
That's one way of looking at it, sure. In fact, as long as you mean that the war will be over when our soldiers come home *victorious*, I fully agree.

And definitely, I join you in hopes that this war comes to a triumphant conclusion as quickly as possible.
Cartoon on Bush responding to war critics (February 22, 2006 9:11 PM)
Posted by: Ashley Wiley
Yes thats what I mean.

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