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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > The Middle East > Syrian Civil War, 2011 - ?

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Syrian Civil War, 2011 - ? From a local uprising to a proxy war, we discuss the chaos in Syria.

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  #31  
Old 10 Apr 16, 12:43
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
I'm afraid that is simple gobbledygook. Democracy as we know it was never endemic to ancient Europe.
Quote:
Rome, Towards Middle Ages
See also: Roman Republic
Even though Rome is classified as a Republic and not a democracy, its history has helped preserve the concept of democracy over the centuries. The Romans invented the concept of classics and many works from Ancient Greece were preserved. Additionally, the Roman model of governance inspired many political thinkers over the centuries, and today's modern (representative) democracies imitate more the Roman than the Greek models
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_democracy

Name - concept - realities.
Classical scholars often favored Greece as the origin point for democratic institutions and decision-making processes. As democracy expanded as a field of study, scholars began to explore the notion that democratic government occurred elsewhere. This includes the earliest civilizations in Egypt and the Near East.
That still applies to the "modern times" of today.
Socially we have not advanced in the last 5000 years.

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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
The adult male citizens who were the "electorate" in ancient classical Greece were a sub set of the population and the overwhelming majority were labourers who were effectively serfs (in Sparta Helots) and slaves who had minimal or no rights and of course women of any class had no elective rights. In the North Macedonia whilst sharing Greek culture had no polis and was always a kingdom with an autocratic rule.
The Roman Republic was little different from Classical Greece with regard to democracy whilst the Empire became increasingly Autocratic. Europe outside the empire was basically tribal and ruled by kings, chiefs and elders.
You can't limit the history of Democracy to just the Greeks and Romans.

Rütlischwur of Switzerland in 1307
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%BCtlischwur

Quote:
Most of the procedures used by modern democracies are very old. Almost all cultures have at some time had their new leaders approved, or at least accepted, by the people; and have changed the laws only after consultation with the assembly of the people or their leaders. Such institutions existed since before the times of the Iliad or of the Odyssey, and modern democracies are often derived from or inspired by them, or what remained of them.

Nevertheless, the direct result of these institutions was not always a democracy. It was often a narrow oligarchy, as in Venice, or even an absolute monarchy, as in Florence, in the Renaissance period; but during the medieval period guild democracies did evolve.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_democracy

So I believe your point of dismissing Far Easteners point, is moot.
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  #32  
Old 11 Apr 16, 00:21
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Public opinion in both Britain and France was opposed to any military intervention by France and/or Britain (and France couldn't afford it anyway) in much the same way as British public opinion was opposed to taking military action over Assad's use of chemical weapons and in democratic societies politicians tend to follow public opinion even though in hindsight public opinion may have been mistaken. Churchill did say something to the effect that democracy is the worst form of government until you look at the alternatives.
I only proffered that particular example to illustrate that " interference" might, in some situations, be justified.
Had the move into the Rhineland been vigorously opposed-always assuming that the will to do so had existed- then Nazi expansion might have been nipped in the bud and WW2 averted.
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  #33  
Old 11 Apr 16, 03:43
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The hatred of the Liberals for the KSA and their adoration for Iran is inexplicable,unless the reason is that KSA had good relations with the GOP and Iran was hostile to the GOP,thus the enemy of my enemy is my friend .

The same rule applies for Israel and Gadaffi .


Of course, a foreign policy based on domestic bias is doomed to fail with catastrophic results .
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  #34  
Old 11 Apr 16, 05:18
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If the point of the Iraq war was to keep oil plentiful and cheap it was a huge success.

If it was to free the Iraq people or protect the Syrian people then of course that is another point of view than the one of the neo con's who started the war.

The irony of course is that the "liberals" are about to nominate Clinton who seems to be involved in a similar scheme of destabilization in Syria.

We can argue about the Morality of such Machiavellian schemes but that does not help us determine the success or failure of policy in terms that are not related to winners and losers.

The point is that the neo con platform explicitly called on military power to be used for economic advantage. The advantages were two fold, insuring existing trade arrangements and prevent new powers from arising. What is clear is that the threat of force is only creditable if it is occasionally wielded.

The same problems exist when evaluating the Vietnam war. It certainly wasn't a success for the Vietnamese or the Americans who died there. On the other hand it was a huge if indirect coup as relates to opening up of trade with China and as a credible example of the willingness to use force.

Last edited by wolfhnd; 11 Apr 16 at 07:35..
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