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Lebezniatnikov
Stupidity Annoys Me



Registered: Feb 2004
Location: DC
PDD's Papers and Editorials

I know there are a number of people who frequent the PDD who are currently students of history, political science, economics, religion, philosophy, international affairs, etc., and it may be interesting to see the focus of our individual studies. So let this thread be a place where we can post our own original content - be it a term paper on a relevant PDD-type topic, a policy brief, letter to the editor, or rant you posted on your blog.

Any takers? If enough people choose to participate, maybe Lira would sticky it? I know I for one would be interested in reading some of the more thought-provoking things you've written for class or work, but maybe that's just the nerdy grad school student in me talking.

And who knows... maybe some of the papers will in turn provoke some discussion amongst everyone else.


ARCHIVE:

1. Lebezniatnikov - A Role for Privatized Military Corporations in Uganda

http://pddpapers.livejournal.com/794.html

2. Krypton - Psychology of the Stock Market
http://pddpapers.livejournal.com/1245.html

3. Krypton - Retrospective Insight into American Occupation in Iraq
http://pddpapers.livejournal.com/1405.html

4. Krypton - Moral, Social, and Political Philosophy Analysis (1,000 words)
http://pddpapers.livejournal.com/1722.html

5. Lebezniatnikov - The Peril of Liberty
http://pddpapers.livejournal.com/1987.html


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Last edited by Lebezniatnikov on Apr-21-2008 at 15:51

Old Post Jan-01-2008 23:16  United Nations
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Krypton
83.798 g/6.022x10^23



Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Texas

I'm definitely in.

I've got a crap load of interesting stuff I've written.


___________________

Old Post Jan-01-2008 23:21  Korea-Democratic Peoples Republic
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Lebezniatnikov
Stupidity Annoys Me



Registered: Feb 2004
Location: DC

I suppose I should put my money where my mouth is. I don't know how much interest in this subject there is, but I'm taking a fairly controversial position in this one, basically arguing that firms like Blackwater could potentially serve well as peace-keepers in Africa if given the appropriate mandate.

*************************************************************************

A Role for PMCs in Uganda
20. December 2007

International donors and non-governmental organizations often showcase Uganda as a brilliant development success. Despite a turbulent history of conflict and oppressive regimes, Uganda enjoys somewhat higher levels of education and healthcare than most of the African continent. Uganda is one of the few sub-Saharan African countries that have experienced sustained economic growth for the past decade, and economic growth in per capita terms surpasses that found in more developed parts of the world.

However, development data belies the security situation in the country, which is made serious by the continuation of violent conflict in the North that has raged on for two decades. In fact, close inspection reveals that there are two Ugandas: the first, a quickly modernizing south spurred by the industrialization of Kampala and the generosity of international donors, and the second, an impoverished and displaced population in the North, ravaged by a never-ending cycle of conflict and neglect. Human security is non-existent in the North, where even those civilians who take refuge in displacement camps fall victim to the predatory nature of both the government’s military and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that opposes it. The population in the North has been caught in the middle of a conflict that can largely be characterized as a power struggle between President Yoweri Museveni and Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA.

Background
The LRA has violently opposed the Ugandan government since Museveni first came to power in the wake of a military coup in 1986. The 1980s were a tumultuous time in Uganda, characterized by a major civil war that resulted in the overthrow of Milton Obote, who himself came into power following allegations of rigged elections in the wake of the authoritarian dictator Idi Amin’s exile. The Ugandan War in the Bush raged for over five years, and allegations of government atrocities against Bantu-speaking populations in the southern half of the country quickly divided the country along ethnic lines, with the Northern Acholi population, which had been brutally suppressed under Amin, supporting Obote and the southern Buganda supporting Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA). In order to stave off an inevitable NRA victory, Tito Okello, the commander of the Ugandan military, overthrew Obote in a coup and approached Museveni to negotiate a power-sharing agreement. The negotiations proved unsuccessful, however, and Museveni’s NRA soon took control of Kampala.

The Museveni regime had difficulty projecting its power over the entire country as a result of its illegitimate seizure of power. Those loyal to the Obote regime, found largely in the North, gave their support to several opposition groups resisting control by the national government. Museveni responded by purging the national military of Acholi officers, a group he believed to be loyal to Obote. This act was viewed as a manifestation of the discrimination toward the Acholi people by the Museveni regime, and served to strengthen the opposition groups that arose, such as the Holy Spirit Movement and the Uganda People’s Democratic Army, comprised mostly of former Acholi soldiers opposed to the Museveni regime. However, these groups were not unified, and the national military was able to defeat them quickly.

The violent defeat of these opposition movements only heightened discrimination by the government and the sense of ethnic frustration felt by the Acholi population. This alienation led to widespread support for a newly emerging resistance group that pledged to institute a Christian government that would atone for past sins. The Lord’s Resistance Army appealed to the population as a conduit for opposition to the state, as well as a force for greater access to ethnic and religious representation in government. Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, used a combination of religious rhetoric (including his claim of spirit medium status) and fear-mongering to ensure broad support among the Acholi. The LRA realized quickly that it could not gain a military victory, and instead resorted to fostering instability and chaos in the hope that the local population would turn against a government that failed to provide security. The LRA has since waged a terror campaign against the Acholi population itself, kidnapping children to brainwash as recruits, destroying villages, and causing over 1.5 million people to leave their homes for displacement camps, where safety is only an illusion as the government fails to provide security against repeated LRA attacks. The conflict has continued for twenty years.

Causes of Continued Conflict
The continuation of the conflict has several causes. First, the failure of the government to provide security or services to the population has led to a general distrust in government that is pervasive throughout the entire population. Furthermore, allegations of misconduct and human rights abuses by the national military heighten feelings of alienation and discrimination. For many Acholi, the choice between the government and the LRA is lose-lose. The military is not a legitimate security guarantee, and as such, is not trusted.

Second, Kony refuses to adjust his expectations for peace. He will not cease fighting for anything short of blanket amnesty or control of government. Kony’s unwillingness to work toward a political solution without amnesty and the government’s refusal to give it makes the likelihood of a peace agreement seem remote.

Third, Museveni seems satisfied simply to contain the LRA uprising to the North, a region that has never given him any political support. By confining instability to the North, Museveni has consolidated his power in the South without opposition. Most observers note that the Ugandan military is operationally capable of achieving victory against the LRA. Thus, failure on that front is not a product of the ability of the government to defeat Kony, but rather the will. Unless these three problems are addressed, successful resolution of the conflict will remain elusive.

A Bold New Strategy
Several strategies to address these and other concerns in the conflict have been suggested, but there is one alternative that has not garnered much discussion. Privatized military companies (PMCs) can address the three largest causes of continued violence in Northern Uganda. PMCs would, by virtue of having no history in the conflict, offer an alternative for civilians unable to put their trust in the government or LRA in providing security. These companies would also be supported by superior defense training and logistical support. With a carefully crafted contract, a private firm would also have significant monetary incentive to tackle the problem of removing Kony as an impediment to peace talks. While Museveni waves in his determination to bring an end to the conflict, international pressure could be successful in acquiring Ugandan consent to allow a third party to pursue the LRA and provide security for displacement camps that have proven a tremendous liability for the government in the North.

In other words, PMCs can accomplish two things that the Ugandan government has failed to do - provide security for the local population and eliminate the threat posed by Kony. The accomplishment of these two tasks will go a long way in creating a ripe moment for change. By examining the role of PMCs in Sierra Leone, it is possible to conceptualize a framework under which the LRA can be defeated and human security re-established in Northern Uganda.

The Role of PMCs in Uganda
The unwillingness of the Ugandan regime to protect its own citizens and end the ongoing conflict in the North has made it clear that a third party intervention is necessary. However, the nature of such an intervention is difficult to conceptualize. With multiple peacekeeping operations currently underway across the African continent, the United Nations and the African Union are spread thin, and both struggle to approve and implement productive mandates across the continent. The most visible manifestation of this difficulty is in Darfur, where despite political grand-standing, a meaningful peace-keeping force has not been successfully implemented.

In addition, no foreign government in the West or in Africa seems capable of mounting an effective intervention. Though Uganda’s close relationship with Britain was on display at the latest Commonwealth summit held in Kampala, British politicians have very little stomach for an armed intervention in Africa, and though the United States has pledged publicly to pursue the LRA if the current round of negotiations breaks down, the military capacity to do so is suspect at best. The memory of Somalia is still vivid in policy circles in the US, and as the political will for intervention remains low throughout the West, PMCs will increasingly operate in the developing world at the behest of local and international clients looking to establish security.

The defined status of the LRA itself offers flexibility in crafting international options to deal with the conflict. As Doom and Vlassenroot note, the aims of the LRA do not correlate its tactics. Though Kony claims to represent the Acholi population, he in fact preys upon them in order to pursue greater personal power. Whether the LRA should be classified as a militant opposition group or a self-serving criminal organization is a question that must be resolved. Observers estimate that up to 85% of the forces operating under the LRA are abducted children who did not take up arms willingly. It is unreasonable to assume that these children are truly fighting for any ideological cause. In fact, interviews with former LRA soldiers indicate that constant fear of reprisals for non-compliance is the true motivating factor for most participants. When the vast majority of participants hold no ideological stake in the outcome of the conflict, can the organization truly be characterized as a popular opposition movement? In addition, the private accumulation of wealth by Kony and his officers is telling. By some accounts, Kony has taken as many as sixty wives as his own, many who were abducted by LRA soldiers as sex slaves. The LRA is sustained by abductions and is directed at proliferating fear among the population.

After the attacks of September 11th, the US Patriot Act classified the LRA as a terrorist organization. The US has been clear that it can and will pursue transnational criminal and terrorist entities that pose a risk to international or regional security. Thus, the US could legitimately make a case for intervention aimed at eliminating the LRA. The United Nations has called upon the LRA to cease the use of children in conflict and has condemned human rights violations as acts of terror, going so far as to call the current situation in Uganda one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. Clearly there is widespread resolve that the LRA must be addressed. However, due to the constraints mentioned above, no authoritative body has the ability or will to organize an intervention in Uganda. A precedent does exist, however, for the active involvement of PMCs.

When the government of Sierra Leone proved incapable of defending itself from repeated attacks by the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the government contracted the South African company Executive Outcomes (EO) to push the RUF back, secure the diamond mines, and force a peace settlement. The intervention of EO created a ripe moment for peace negotiations in Sierra Leone that the United Nations and regional bodies had failed to procure. The same can and should be done in Uganda.

The US should work within the framework of the United Nations in order to build support for an intervention. The US has expressly stated that it wishes to address security concerns posed by the LRA. US law prohibits the military from becoming involved in another country’s internal conflict, but provides no such ban on private corporations operating in conflict zones. Of course, this brings up relevant questions about accountability, and whether or not PMCs would be governed by national or international law. Some system of accountability should be established under the framework of a contract that makes clear the operational aims of the client. Recent allegations of misuse of force in Iraq heighten concerns that PMCs operate independently of any political objectives and are not subject to any outside authority.

Politically, the United States and Britain can put pressure on Museveni in order to gain support within the Ugandan government for an intervention. It would be politically inconvenient for Museveni to hinder a solution to the conflict in Northern Uganda considering the large amount of money that flows into the country from international donors originating in the United States and Europe. Since the LRA currently operates from within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well, a regional agreement must also be reached in order to pursue the LRA across borders and apprehend those leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court. If the problems of regional approval and operational accountability can be adequately addressed, PMCs could be very useful in creating momentum to resolve the conflict in Northern Uganda and the greater divide between the North and South of the country.

Conclusion
An intervention by a PMC aimed at providing security for displaced persons and pursuing the elimination of the LRA leadership could create a ripe moment for change in Northern Uganda. According to the non-profit group Minorities at Risk, the severe toll of the current conflict on the Acholi civilian population makes it very unlikely that the Acholi will form an armed militant group in the future. The vast majority of soldiers fighting for the LRA do so unwillingly, making the possibility of renewed conflict under a different banner a remote one. By addressing fundamental security concerns and the largest cause of the conflict in the form of Joseph Kony, a PMC operating in Northern Uganda could create a foundation for a lasting peace.


“Uganda at a Glance.” World Bank Development Statistics. Online. Updated 28. Sept. 2007. http://devdata.worldbank.org/AAG/uga_aag.pdf.
“Improving Competitiveness and Increasing Economic Growth in Uganda.” Information for Development Program. InfoDev. Online. Updated 12/14/07. http://www.infodev.org/en/Project.33.html.
“Uprooted and Forgotten: Impunity and Human Rights Abuses in Northern Uganda.” Human Rights Watch. September 2005 Vol. 17, No. 12(A). http://hrw.org/reports/2005/uganda0905/uganda0905.pdf.
History in this section is summarized from two main sources:
- “The Conflict.” Uganda Conflict Action Network. 2006. http://www.ugandacan.org/history.php.
- “Background on the Conflict in Northern Uganda.” Human Rights First. Online. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/int...nda/uganda.htm.
“Assessment for Acholi in Uganda.” Minorities at Risk Project. Updated 31. Dec. 2003. http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/assess...?groupId=50001.
Doom, Ruddy, and Koen Vlassenroot. “Kony’s Message: A New Koine? The Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda.” African Affairs, Vol. 98, No. 390. (Jan., 1999), pp. 5-36.
“Northern Uganda: Understanding and Solving the Conflict.” International Crisis Group. Africa Report No. 77. 14. April 2004. http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=2588&l=1
“Uprooted and Forgotten.”
“Northern Uganda” (2004).
“A Strategy for Ending Northern Uganda’s Crisis.” International Crisis Group. Africa Briefing No. 35. 11. Jan. 2006. http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3864&l=1.
“Northern Uganda” (2004).
Ibid. (2004). The International Crisis Group notes that while the Ugandan military is far superior to the LRA forces, the logistical ability to support a conflict among a non-supportive population and across national borders is lacking, making a national military solution unlikely.
“Peace Process: Northern Uganda Virtual Presence Post.” US Department of State. 25. Aug. 2007. http://northernuganda.usvpp.gov/peaceprocess.html.
O’Brien, Kevin A. “PMCs, Myths, and Mercenaries: The Debate on Private Military Companies.” Global Policy Forum. Royal United Service Institute Journal. February 2000. http://www.globalpolicy.org/nations...y/02debate.htm.
Doom and Vlassenroot (1999).
Ibid. (1999).
Debut, Beatrice. “Portrait of Uganda’s rebel prophet, painted by wives.” Mail & Guardian Online. 10. Feb. 2006. http://northernuganda.usvpp.gov/peaceprocess.html.
“Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act: Report to Congress.” Secretary of State’s Office. 2. Feb. 2005. http://www.ugandacan.org/PL_108283_..._Act_final.pdf.
Krauss, Alex. “Private Military Contractors: The dark side of military expenditures and the unanswered question of accountability.” International Peace Bureau. http://www.ipb.org/Private%20Milita...x%20Krauss.pdf.
“Assessment for Acholi” (2003).


********************************************************************

The footnotes don't seem to have worked properly, but if you want to see what went where, I can send anyone who is interested the .doc file that has them placed correctly. It's worth noting too that the professor left for Darfur before giving any feedback on this one, so it could very well be filled with bollocks.


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Old Post Jan-01-2008 23:24  United Nations
Click Here to See the Profile for Lebezniatnikov Click here to Send Lebezniatnikov a Private Message Add Lebezniatnikov to your buddy list Report this Post Reply w/Quote Edit/Delete Message
Krypton
83.798 g/6.022x10^23



Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Texas

quote:
Originally posted by Lesbianosaur
I suppose I should put my money where my mouth is. I don't know how much interest in this subject there is, but I'm taking a fairly controversial position in this one, basically arguing that firms like Blackwater could potentially serve well as peace-keepers in Africa if given the appropriate mandate.


I'de agree, though they should operate within some sort of framed regulation. Also, try to get that through the UN.

Excellent reference of Seirra Leone.


___________________

Last edited by Krypton on Jan-01-2008 at 23:51

Old Post Jan-01-2008 23:44  Korea-Democratic Peoples Republic
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Krypton
83.798 g/6.022x10^23



Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Texas

Here is a short paper I wrote about the collective "crowd psychology" of the stock market, and how it can affect market prices, create bubbles, and sell-off panics.

THESIS: According to the Efficient Market Theory, all market prices for any named security reflect all information that is known, and thus represents the collective beliefs of all investors as to the market value of the security (Han, 2002). The market is directed by the transactions of investors who are human. Humans are not mathematical creatures but rather biological in nature, and so when observing the market behavior at any one time, there is always the presence of irrational speculation based in the instinctual psychology of humans.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Psychology of the Stock Market


According to the Efficient Market Theory, all market prices for any named security reflect all information that is known, and thus represents the collective beliefs of all investors as to the market value of the security (Han, 2002). The market is directed by the transactions of investors who are human. Humans are not mathematical creatures but rather biological in nature, and so when observing the market behavior at any one time, there is always the presence of irrational speculation based in the instinctual psychology of humans.

The 1990’s brought the internet to the developed world bringing an entirely new economy of internet business to millions around the world. New online start-ups began opening up almost everyday. It seemed like nothing would stop this new economy from completely dominating any market that had come before it. This new economy seemed to be the place every savvy investor was supposed to be and billions of dollars were poured into these dot-com companies. As the 1990’s came to an end, cautious voices began sounding off to an inevitable bust much to the dismay of the millions of dot-com investors. There was seemingly no reason to believe these naysayer’s as anyone who had invested 5 years prior to 2000 in the technology sector would have seen astronomical returns. Many people became instant millions during these times, but the naysayer’s were right. On March 10, 2000, the exorbitant technology market prices plummeted (NASDAQ). The technology index represented by the NASDAQ lost more than 60% of its value in the following two years representing billions of dollars wiped clean off the table. Anyone left behind would have lost it all and many were scared right out of the market.

This situation highlights a scenario that is not at all uncommon in the stock market. It starts with a new trend in which investors believe will be the next object to appreciate. As investors pile on, the businesses themselves neglect to follow traditional business models, so the market prices are not a true reflection of the underlying business model. Despite this, investors continue pouring more money into these faulty companies which seemingly defies rationality. The scenario then progresses to the sell-off, triggered by large institutional liquidation, which in turn starts a market panic. Investors across the board scramble to recover what money they have left in these decrepit businesses they thought were invincible.

Social psychology helps one to understand that the dot-com bust is characterized by the speculative driving force of the human herd mentality. Everyone saw everyone else getting rich from these new dot-com companies and so started the mass buying of the entire technology sector. No one wanted to be left out. This instinctual desire to be in the group of winners blinded investors to the reality of what really drives the markets long-term. Profitable business models were scrapped for novelty stocks which had not even made a profit, but despite this, the herd mentality dominated.

Understanding this mass movement requires a study of group psychology using naturalistic observation. Participants in the market at the time of the dot-com boom would have found it difficult to take a step back and observe market psychology alone driving up stock prices in its natural setting, irrespective of the business model. Therefore to truly observe the scenario from an unbiased and objective view would have required a separation from participation in the market or more specifically the technology sector. Any naturalistic observer would have examined the underlying business models without any emotion towards the business and seen the exorbitant prices were not supported by business performances but only by the extremely high demand for stock by a stampede of speculating investors. The correct mode of interaction would have been not to participate in any of the rampant speculation, but to examine business fundamentals and base an investment decision on this analysis.

Wise investors always examine the market from an unbiased, objective, and individualistic view so as to separate one’s self from the stampede. Humans are group creatures and are always susceptible to the influence of others actions, especially when it seems like everyone is doing the same thing. Taking a step back to observe the psychological market forces can help a sophisticated investor avoid the cycles of the inevitable busts that always end the booms.

References

Han, A. (2002). Efficient Market Hypothesis. Retrieved September 10, 2007 from http://www.alvinhan.com/Efficient-Market-Hypothesis.htm
NASDAQ 40-year Price Chart. Retrieved September 10, 2007 from http://chart.finance.yahoo.com/c/my/_/_ixic


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Last edited by Krypton on Jan-02-2008 at 02:55

Old Post Jan-01-2008 23:47  Korea-Democratic Peoples Republic
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Krypton
83.798 g/6.022x10^23



Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Texas

This is my favorite paper! It basically forms my opinion of the invasion of Iraq 2003, and this is from where I started my opposition to the war.... If anyone has any comments on this one, I'de love to here them! If you don't want to read the entire thing, read the first paragraph which starts off with the background and my thesis....!!

THESIS: On March 20, 2003, an American-led coalition invaded Iraq on the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare based on the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) believed to be in Iraq’s possession. Investigators found nothing after scouring Iraq searching for the alleged WMDs for almost 2 full years. According to the Iraq Survey Group (ISG)(Duelfer, 2004), Iraq's WMD program was essentially destroyed and Saddam ended the country's nuclear program after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The US invasion of Iraq was based on faulty intelligence and violated the sovereignty of Iraq.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Retrospective Insight into American Occupation in Iraq


On March 20, 2003, an American-led coalition invaded Iraq on the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare based on the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) believed to be in Iraq’s possession. Investigators found nothing after scouring Iraq searching for the alleged WMDs for almost 2 full years. According to the Iraq Survey Group (ISG)(Duelfer, 2004), Iraq's WMD program was essentially destroyed and Saddam ended the country's nuclear program after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The US invasion of Iraq was based on faulty intelligence and violated the sovereignty of Iraq.

Faulty Intelligence
(Weapons of Mass Destruction)
The main argument the Bush administration provided to justify an invasion of Iraq was that the Saddam Hussein regime was developing weapons of mass destruction that posed a serious threat to the United States, its allies, and interests (Powell, 2006). In Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address, he made his position clear by stating the United States could not wait until Iraq was an imminent threat (Bush, 2003). Thus, it was necessary for the United States to act preemptively in a military intervention before Saddam had developed his WMDs.

The Bush Administration did act on March 20, 2003, invading Iraq in an almost perfect execution of “shock and awe” to Iraqi forces. Iraq’s government and military forces quickly fell and by May 1, 2003, President Bush had made his now-famous “Mission Accomplished” speech. The general thought was once Iraq’s conventional forces were routed, the war would be over. Unfortunately, by the end of 2003, insurgents aided by post-invasion looting of huge weapons stockpiles began stepping up attacks on coalition forces on an unprecedented scale.

Shortly after the invasion, the coalition sent in a 1,400 member international team known as the Iraq Survey Group (ISG). Their sole purpose was to search for the alleged weapons of mass destruction, any correlating research programs, and any infrastructure related to WMD development. The ISG picked up where the original UN weapons inspections teams (UNMOVIC) and IAEA left off. It must be noted that no inspections by the ISG, UNMOVIC, nor IAEA ever found weapons of mass destruction as alleged by the Bush Administration.
The findings of the ISG were reported on September 30, 2004 in the Duelfer Report (Duelfer, 2006). This final report on Iraq’s WMD programs indicated several things:

1. There was no active Iraqi nuclear weapons program.
2. No chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons were ever found.
3. Saddam’s main concern was mitigation of UN economic sanctions.

In January 2005, the ISG concluded its search stating, “We have not found evidence that Saddam possessed WMD stocks in 2003. There is a possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq, although not of a militarily significant capability." (Cornwell, Russell, Penketh, 2004). The implications of the Duelfer Report are strong indications of a major intelligence failure in the United States, or of a criminal manipulation of intelligence data to suit the means for an invasion.

(Alleged Al-Qaeda Relationship)
On February 5, 2003, former Secretary of State Colin Powell presented several claims about Iraq’s supposed ties to Al-Qaeda to the UN Security Council (Powell, 2003). In his presentation, he asserted that the Iraqi regime supported terrorism by making these allegations (Powell, 2006).

1. Iraq harbored Al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi who set up an explosives training camp in northeastern Iraq.
2. Going back as far as the mid-90’s, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden had come to an understanding that Al-Qaeda would no longer support activities against Baghdad.
3. Sometime in the mid-90s, Saddam Hussein is supposed to have sent Iraqi agents to Afghanistan to provide document forgery training to Al-Qaeda members.
4. Iraq had offered biological and chemical weapons training for an Al-Qaeda operative beginning in December 2000. Specifically, an operative named Abu Abdulla Al-Iraqi was sent to Iraq to obtain information on acquiring poisons and gases.

The CIA later came out in August 2004 stating (Strobel, Landay, Walcott, 2004), “There is no conclusive evidence that the regime harbored Osama bin Laden associate Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.” The fact is the relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda affiliates is extremely doubtful at best. In fact, the source of the Zarqawi-Saddam connection was Al-Qaeda leader Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi who was viewed as untrustworthy by US intelligence. This specific piece of intelligence he provided was under very questionable circumstances as he was in the detention of Egyptian authorities at the time, a country known to use torture. The information al-Libi provided under harsh treatment could not be counted on as creditable intelligence. In a November 2005 Newsweek article, two US counter-terrorism officials said they believed Colon Powell had obtained the information about supposed Iraqi involvement with Zarqawi and Al-Iraqi exclusively from Egyptian-held al-Libi. The evidence provided to the Security Council about Iraqi ties to Al-Qaeda is still unfounded to this day.

Violation of Sovereignty
According to the Charter of the UN (1945), Article 2(1) states, “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.” Sovereignty by its very definition is the right of supreme authority within a geographical boundry. The Charter of the UN guarantees 6 rights to national sovereignty (Whitman).

1. States are legally equal.
2. Every state enjoys the rights inherent in full sovereignty.
3. Every state is obligated to respect the fact of the legal entity of other states.
4. The territorial integrity and political independence of a state are not to be violated.
5. Each state has the right to freely choose and develop its own political, social, economic, and cultural systems.
6. Each state is obligated to carry out its international obligations fully and conscientiously and to live in peace with other states.

These are the rules peaceful nations follow in their foreign policy, especially when applying these rules to international law. As such, the doctrine of preemptive warfare is a fallacy because the action punishes what another sovereign nation might do, which bases preemption on prediction, and prediction is of course relative speculation and could be wrong. No country should ever base a military action on a prediction of what might happen, but rather should base it on whether a fellow nation’s sovereignty has been infringed upon by an aggressor.

The invasion of Iraq does not constitute a lawful military action according to the rules set forth by the UN Charter. Iraq was not threatening the sovereignty of any other nation. Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were all attacked by Saddam Hussein but the UN reaction was swift in enforcing the rules on Iraq, punishing the country with expulsion from conquered territories and economic sanctions. Countries with a weak economy can seldom make war against its neighbors.

Once it was realized that WMDs were not likely to be found, many war proponents shifted their excuse to invade Iraq on the basis of the regime’s human rights record. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein brutalized his own people, denying them life and liberty. But every nation has the right to freely choose and develop its own political, social, economic, and cultural systems. It is the Iraqi people who must make the decision to change their domestic scenario and not a foreign power. No freedom has ever come without the bloodshed of patriots. That is why the US cannot simply bestow upon the Iraqi’s a democracy, but rather the Iraqi’s must shed their own blood before they can attain such freedom. In the short essay A Few Words on Non-Intervention (Mills, 1873), John Mill states, “If the people have not sufficient love of liberty to be able to wrest it from merely domestic oppressors, the liberty which is bestowed on them by other hands than their own will have nothing real, nothing permanent.”

(Regional Balance of Power)
The absence of any central governing body with authority over all nations makes international balance of power the only alternative to keeping countries in check (Whitman). Iraq’s power was balanced regionally not by the US, UN, or any coalition; Iran was the premier counter-weight to Iraq’s aggressiveness. The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) ended in a bloody stalemate even when Saddam used poison gas on Iranian soldiers and Kurdish rebels. Regime change was not necessary. The measures taken against Iraq in economic sanctions, military no-fly zones, and continued ostracizing were enough to contain Saddam’s aggressiveness and essentially hold his power in check.

Iran took the opportunity of Iraq’s destruction to bolster itself up, as Iran’s own counter-balance, Iraq, no longer served to threaten them. The huge regional US military presence gave the Iranians an excuse to begin development of nuclear capabilities in an apparent attempt to balance their power with that of the American nuclear arsenal. The Iranians know that if they have nuclear weapons, being the target of a military intervention will no longer be possible. The Iranian regime views their right to nuclear power as a right to defend themselves against American aggressiveness.

The US is now obligated to fill the regional power vacuum formerly filled by Iraq or let the region fall into a struggle to fill the vacuum. Democracy is bound to fail in Iraq as the Iraqis are the ones who must take freedom into their own hands or else that freedom is not truly real. The essence of the American mission to Iraq is inherently flawed and bound to fail.

Conclusion
Military action should be taken only when the sovereignty of a nation is violated by another nation or group. Otherwise, occupied peoples resent the occupier, take up arms, and form resistance groups. Preemptive military action should be undertaken only under undeniable evidence that an aggressor nation is about to violate the sovereignty of another nation. The Bush Administration provided deniable proof and thus made a gross error in invading Iraq.

The interventionism undertaken by the Bush Administration is by far the most dangerous form of foreign policy any country, especially the United States, could undertake. The current situation makes an example out of interventionist policy. Iran is trying to place itself as the dominant Middle Eastern power, sectarian tensions within Iraq are leading to civil war, coalition troops are continuing to take casualties for a failed strategic mission, and Iraqi civilians are suffering just as badly now as under the Saddam regime. Future foreign policy should never include unilateral military action on sovereign countries that have not attacked us.

References
Bush, G. (2003, January). 2003 State of the Union Address. Speech presented to the United States Congress.
Charter of the United Nations. (1945). Article 2, Chapter 1. Retrieved June 15, 2007, from http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/.
Cornwell, R., Russell, B., Penketh, A. (2004, July 10). WMD report sinks Bush's main rationale for war. Retrieved June 15, 2007, from http://freenet.buffalo.edu/nuclear/NZH-10-8.htm
Mills, J. Dissertations and Discussions, (New York: Holt & Co., 1873), pp. 238-263. Retrieved June 15, 2007, from
Powell, C. (2003, February). Transcript of Powell's U.N. presentation. Speech presented at the UN Security Council.
Strobel, W., Landay, J., and Walcott, J. (5 October 2004). Fresh CIA analysis: No evidence Saddam colluded with al-Qaida. Seattle Times, A9.
The Duelfer Report. (2004). Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq's WMD. Retrieved June 15, 2007, from http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/duelfer.html
Whitman, J. (n.d.) An End to Soveriegnty. Retrieved June 15, 2007 from http://www.usafa.af.mil/jscope/JSCOPE95/Whitman95.html


___________________

Last edited by Krypton on Jan-02-2008 at 02:55

Old Post Jan-01-2008 23:55  Korea-Democratic Peoples Republic
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Lebezniatnikov
Stupidity Annoys Me



Registered: Feb 2004
Location: DC

quote:
Originally posted by Krypton

Retrospective Insight into American Occupation in Iraq


I enjoyed the read, and agree completely with the points on WMD and alleged terrorist connections, and having opposed this war from its very start, I agree with the spirit of this paper. But there are a few things I do disagree with.

quote:
Sovereignty by its very definition is the right of supreme authority within a geographical boundry.


Not necessarily. To use the Weberian definition, a state is sovereign when it has a sole legitimate authority over a defined geographical territory. But the operative word here is legitimate - what defines legitimacy? An election? The mere fact that said authority has not yet been overthrown? The Zimbabwean government is surely the sole authority over a defined territory, but is it really legitimate? Opposition leaders are killed and mutilated, and elections are wrought with fraud.

quote:

The Charter of the UN guarantees 6 rights to national sovereignty (Whitman).

1. States are legally equal.
2. Every state enjoys the rights inherent in full sovereignty.
3. Every state is obligated to respect the fact of the legal entity of other states.
4. The territorial integrity and political independence of a state are not to be violated.
5. Each state has the right to freely choose and develop its own political, social, economic, and cultural systems.
6. Each state is obligated to carry out its international obligations fully and conscientiously and to live in peace with other states.


Two comments - what defines a state? Is a failed state still a legitimate state and thereby protected by the provisions of the UN charter? What about a state that is not recognized by all members of the UN? Taiwan comes to mind.

And if a state fails to carry out its international obligations faithfully, does it forfeit its right to the protections outlined in points 1-5? The international community had demanded more transparency from Iraq, and Iraq had failed to give it. The Hussein regime also defied international human rights conventions on a fairly regular basis. At what point can it be said that a country does not live up to its international obligations?

quote:

The invasion of Iraq does not constitute a lawful military action according to the rules set forth by the UN Charter. Iraq was not threatening the sovereignty of any other nation. Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were all attacked by Saddam Hussein but the UN reaction was swift in enforcing the rules on Iraq, punishing the country with expulsion from conquered territories and economic sanctions. Countries with a weak economy can seldom make war against its neighbors.


Are sanctions not a violation of sovereignty under this definition? Is a UN inspection team not a violation of sovereignty?

quote:


Once it was realized that WMDs were not likely to be found, many war proponents shifted their excuse to invade Iraq on the basis of the regime’s human rights record.


This was largely done after the fact, as hindsight is 20/20 and prognostication is decidedly not.

quote:
There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein brutalized his own people, denying them life and liberty. But every nation has the right to freely choose and develop its own political, social, economic, and cultural systems. It is the Iraqi people who must make the decision to change their domestic scenario and not a foreign power.


Ok, now this is where I strongly disagree. Saddam had a monopoly of power in Iraq. How would you suggest the people rise up and overthrow the yoke of oppression when all visible opposition is not only crushed but publicly brutalized? The families of any person deemed in opposition to the regime were punished. It can hardly be stated that Iraqis were simply satisfied with the state of their affairs by virtue of not having launched a successful revolution.

And to bring another example to bear - what should be done in Darfur? You have a minority population with very little means of opposing a powerful state acting without impunity or tip of the hat to human rights against its own citizens. It is completely impossible for the Khartoum government to be overthrown from within... so should we view the inability of the population to change its government as tacit approval? I don't think so.

quote:
No freedom has ever come without the bloodshed of patriots. That is why the US cannot simply bestow upon the Iraqi’s a democracy, but rather the Iraqi’s must shed their own blood before they can attain such freedom. In the short essay A Few Words on Non-Intervention (Mills, 1873), John Mill states, “If the people have not sufficient love of liberty to be able to wrest it from merely domestic oppressors, the liberty which is bestowed on them by other hands than their own will have nothing real, nothing permanent.”


Presuming, of course, that the people have the capacity to overthrow their domestic oppressors. 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur and many more made homeless... at what point do we recognize that the local population does not even have the capacity to wrest its liberty from the government? In Burma, the military junta brutalizes any who dare defy it - even monks! How can it be reasonably stated that Burmese citizens have the capability of deciding their own futures? I think Mill here is either outdated or wrong.

The United States has an innate belief in the power of revolution, having been borne itself out of one. But what is vastly different is that the British were not the sole purveyors of authority over the Americas... localized militias were empowered to pursue their own interests, and were turned against their British masters in the Revolution. No such apparatus exists in many of the war-torn countries of the world. Failed states exhibit complete monopolization of power for the sole expressed purpose of eliminating any future potential threat to their authority. And in addition, lest we forget our history, remember that it was only with the aid of an outside power, the French, that the American militias were able to secure a victory over Britain.

I think your argument here is not well-suited to non-interventionism, which I think is a complete abrogation of international responsibilities to human rights. Complete and total sovereignty carried out to its Nth degree is a blank check handed to despots and warlords, free to act without impunity against their own populations in ensuring no future threat to their power. That is far too dangerous.

Instead, I would argue that you, like Mill, do make a compelling argument against democracy-building. Intervention can be undertaken in two ways - it can be the apparatus of providing change directed from the bottom or orchestrated from the outside. I think intervention provides a very important purpose when it creates a ripe moment for change within a country that has failed its own people. But it is absolutely essential that control over the design of the subsequent state is handed over to the indigenous population and not dictated by an outside source. In other words, the largest mistake (in my eyes) that the United States made was not the removal of Saddam from power - he was a tyrant and could hardly be described as legitimate. The mistake was in the quest to build a democracy without deferring first to local Iraqis for their own vision and implementation of political aims and objectives.

Now, if we can just decide on a common definition of a "legitimate" state, maybe things wouldn't remain so muddled.

In any case, this was a very interesting read. Thanks for posting.


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Old Post Jan-02-2008 01:05  United Nations
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Lebezniatnikov
Stupidity Annoys Me



Registered: Feb 2004
Location: DC

This paper is a little different, but probably appeals to the interests of more people. The assignment was to make an argument about what constitutes citizenship in the United States. My take is that citizenship is achieved when one willingly sets aside self-interest for the pursuit of the common good through governance.

**************************************************************************

Taking the Pledge: Membership in America
Introduction to American Political Thought

As each person recites the oath of citizenship, they become incorporated into the American body politick, imbued with the legal rights and responsibilities of a full member of American citizenship. The American community is a cohesive unit composed of political animals that are active in political and civic society in any number of ways. Though individuals are endowed with certain inalienable rights, it is by their active participation in society that they make them their own, claiming a stake in the society that preserves and protects their rights. A government for the people and by the people is dependent on an active populace that will participate in the governance of society. A democracy is by definition participatory, and as such, it requires that citizens invest themselves in political discourse. In return, a democracy promotes the best interests of the populace, working toward the basic rights that are incorporated into the common good. I believe that the ideal American political community is a united, homogenous group of people committed to pursuing the common good through voluntary participation in the body politick. Therefore, the republican values of the common good and participation are essential to any democratic union, and as such, should be the primary criterion for voluntary association with the American political community.

The Oath of Citizenship is a rite of passage for those newly included as members of the United States of America, and is a product of the republican tradition of American political thought. For those not granted citizenship in the United States by birthright, membership in the political community is still available. There is no legal universal standard for the Oath of Citizenship, but by law it must contain at least five specific components. First, each pledge must proclaim allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. Second, each pledge must renounce any allegiance to foreign governments or entities, signifying that membership within the United States supercedes any other past or present connection. By simultaneously pronouncing loyalty to the American government and renouncing loyalty to all others, the pledge shows the extent to which the political and social ideals of American thought should resonate with the individual self.

This oath symbolizes a commitment to rule of law and democracy, consistent with the values and ideas embedded in the government. The Constitution creates a union of states and individuals under one federal government, devoted to the national rather than individual good. To be American, one must feel an affinity with all fellow members of the national community, and a demonstrated allegiance to the principles and ideas of society signifies a commitment to the common good. Sacvan Bercovitch explains that American nationalism is a cultural consensus, whereby all members of the community are united in a common “conception of the future as the present.” Following the Revolutionary War, “Nation meant Americans, Americans meant the people, and the people meant those who, thanks to the Revolution, enjoyed a commonplace prosperity: the simple, sunny rewards of American middle-class culture” (emphasis original).

The first two components of the oath of citizenship serve to unify the body politick through the expression of faith in the community as a whole. Unity within the community belies the notion that the common good of society is more important than any one individual’s private self-interest. This hearkens back to the Puritan tradition from whence democracy came; namely, the tightly-knit community that pre-dated contemporary feudal notions of the state that never emerged in America. In this community, all members are inherently equal and strive for shared interests. In the words of Tocqueville, Americans enjoy “equality of conditions.” The American community should be filled with active participants, who, equal in dedication to the common good of society as a whole, will sacrifice self-interest for the general welfare. The oath of citizenship symbolizes the shedding of differences to join a homogenous community where all strive toward one common goal. As Louis Hartz proclaimed, the absence of a feudal history in America meant that people are born equal, and not retroactively made equal by government. All distinctions between people become irrelevant within the greater society, for each person in the political community is simply an American.

The third requisite component of the oath is a promise to defend the Constitution against all dangers. An individual life is of less import than the values of liberty and community embedded in the common good, the bedrock of membership in the American community. Fourth, each new member must promise to participate in the armed services if called upon by law, demonstrating a commitment to the security of the United States above all else, and again, the willingness to sacrifice one’s life for the common good of the Union. And fifth, the oath requires one to perform other civic responsibilities required by law of members of the community, such as serving on jury duty. Participation is an important element of American political thought, and is thus embedded in the core of the Oath of Citizenship. This oath may be considered by some a mere performance, but there is no doubt that the tenets of the republican tradition permeate to its core, and that by taking the oath, one affirms the fundamental values and traditions upon which this nation was founded.

Though mere citizenship is the requisite standard for membership in the American political community, it carries several responsibilities that must also be met. Aristotle wrote that man is by nature a political animal, and that the highest human good is reached through political participation by those who are members of society. To rule and be ruled in return is to develop habits and ethics consistent with virtue and the common good. This requires a certain level of independence, which is ensured through republican values of education and security. The existence of the community as a homogenous group with both a stake in society and a unified common interest creates security. A unified community is free from the factionalism characteristic of self-interest, and instead promotes the application of the common good universally through its membership.
To become a citizen with full rights and privileges, one should become an active member of the body politick. This can be done in a variety of ways. Participation in government itself, either through running for office or voting, is an important responsibility of citizenship, though is not the only means by which one can participate. Civil society and religion are conduits for participation, and the voluntary association of individuals according to interests and beliefs is a valuable component of a democratic society. Service in society signifies a dedication to the principles of common good and communal well-being. Membership in the political community should be rooted in participation within it, either politically or civically. Without participation, a person has absolutely no stake in society, and therefore no interest in the common good.

Low rates of participation lead inevitably to a decline in moral virtue of citizens and the rise of self-interest and factions. When individual activity is centered on political power and commerce, self-interest takes precedence over the common good. Therefore, it is essential that all members of the political community remain active, striving for the benefit of all rather than self. In order to combat selfishness and ensure virtue, habits and mores must be inculcated through the education system, as advised by Tocqueville. The tradition of political theology stipulates that education is essential in inculcating the virtues and habits essential for good membership in a community. Habits and virtues are learned products of education, and must be applied toward the common good in order to stave off the corruption of the community, which can arise in several ways.

First, strict adherence to the tradition of political liberalism entails support of innate natural rights, both inalienable and undeniable. However, self-interest unavoidably leads to competition, rather than cooperation, between individuals. Strict liberalism thus erodes the common good through the pervasiveness of individual commercial interests. Because natural rights are so important, it is in the individual interest to limit the control of government over the private sphere. The government serves, therefore, merely to prevent members of society from destroying one another, and not to promote the common good through positive production. Second, external influences and commerce only serve to increase instability through the introduction of further diverse individual interests into a cohesive, homogenous community. According to political theologists, commerce is a corrupting influence on society because it instills the desire to accumulate wealth at the expense of others. Exposure to other groups of people through economic activity is therefore problematic, as commerce eventually leads to the erosion of common good as a foundation for society and government.

To combat instability caused by self-interest and commerce, education should be centered on the inculcation of common virtues and the belief in republican notions of the common good and civic participation. Though authoritarian, standard education requirements such as these ensure the stability of American society. In this way, indoctrination can be a useful means of ensuring that a society remains tied to equality and the common good. Tocqueville writes that common habits and mores related to virtue breed not only equality among all members, but sympathy and compassion as well, which facilitate the importance of the common good. Of course, the rise of factions and diverse interests in a large republic is unavoidable, so the government has been constructed in order to contain factionalism from infringing upon the common good. The system of checks and balances written into the Constitution inherently balance the emergence of eventual self-interested groups and individuals within government.

As Pocock notes, corruption must be avoided on the societal level through equality within virtue. Pocock’s notion of the virtuous includes only those men who own property, are deeply religious, and have attained some level of basic education. However, his definition of membership in society is somewhat flawed in a secular state. Religious affiliation is one form of participation in civic society, and when Pocock’s notion of citizenship is expanded, one can see that the important component of religion is the participation within it. Therefore, active participation within civil society, in conjunction with ownership of property and education, are sufficient means of membership in a republican society. Tocqueville observed that the prevalence of public space contributes to increased political discourse among the population, which generally leads to increased participation in governance. Property ownership also lends itself to increased political participation in two ways. First, property generates self-reliance, and frees an individual to work toward the common good without being dependent on individual commercial connections. Second, property ownership ensures that the owner has a stake in the security of the existing society under which the property is owned.

The origins of American political traditions reveal even more about society than a survey of present-day conditions. At the time of the Revolution, there existed two sharp distinctions between political life in Europe and America. Americans were politically active whereas Europeans were not, and Americans exerted tremendous control over their own daily life as a result of decentralized government. The values of participation and localized government were evident in the Declaration of Independence, which espoused the innate, natural rights of mankind, including equality and the entitlement to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property. However, it retained republican and Puritan concepts of the decentralized community, arguing that the absence of hierarchy among citizens would lead to a virtuous, stable society. In the tradition of the jeremiad, the Declaration cites abuses of natural rights by the corrupt British government. Therein lays a tension within the liberal tradition. All humankind was created to be equal, but even government becomes susceptible to the whims of self-interest. This corruption led the colonies to declare their independence from the unvirtuous British government.
The Declaration reflected the liberal values of the individual. Britain had infringed upon the individual rights of the colonists, and in retribution, Americans announced their innate natural rights and came together as an aggregate of individuals to fight for freedom from tyranny. However, the political dynamic between individuals and society had changed greatly, and soon the Constitution presented a society constructed from one cohesive whole, rather than an aggregate of many parts. “We the People,” begins the Constitution, signifying the dramatic shift to a national consciousness tied to the common good of all members of society.

The brilliance of membership in American society is its flexibility. The Preamble to the Constitution, in declaring for the people universal beliefs and goals, establishes a common platform of values for membership that is entirely voluntary. The power of the Constitution lies in the voluntary submission to it. The political theology tradition believes that membership in the congregation - though a privilege - is voluntary. Reflecting the free will of mankind that is intrinsic to the origin of America itself, American citizenship operates through voluntary association. Max Weber, in discussing the political theology tradition of religious sects in America, highlights the importance of voluntary association. Members of religious sects have proven their virtue and commitment to the communal good before acceptance, but the decision to associate with a group is not compulsory. Seymour Martin Lipset characterizes the sectarian nature of religion in America as exceptional due to its voluntary, participatory nature.

The freedom of association in all things, great and small, placates the public, and ensures that self-interest never overtakes the common good. In other words, freedom of association not only benefits the common good, but also ensures security. Tocqueville writes, “If you perceive Americans on all sides working without relaxation in the execution of some important and difficult design that the least revolution could confound, you easily conceive why people so well occupied are not tempted to trouble the state or to destroy a public repose from which they profit.” The evident conclusion of Tocqueville is that a busy population is a happy population. However, Tocqueville notes well that this notion can be dangerous for two distinct reasons. First, when government requires compulsory associations, the people are held captive. One must only remember the phrase Arbeit macht Frei in order to understand the danger of carrying out this practice.

Second, Tocqueville notes that the European fear of free association was rooted in the notion that factions in favor of revolution would inevitably emerge. The exceptionalism of the United States lies in the ability of the population to, “within the political associations that Americans of all conditions […] get the general taste for association […] and familiarize themselves with its use. There they […] understand each other, and in common become animated for all sorts of undertakings.” He concludes that the freedom of association in America has “passed into habits and mores.”

Though the two prerequisites of membership, commitment to the public good and active participation in society, must be met before being considered a full member of the community, the eventual association with the American state is entirely voluntary. A new immigrant to America is given the opportunity to decide when and if he or she will apply to become a citizen, and all residents in the United States have the opportunity to become active members in the American body politick, but are not compelled to do so out of necessity. Americans are also free to leave the state, so long as they find another to accept them. In this way, the voluntary association to the American political community is an important and essential component of what it means to be a member, and a vital contributor to the maintenance of American security.


Works Cited

Appleby, Joyce. “Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 113-118.
Barber, Benjamin. “The Compromised Republic.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 141-147.
Bercovitch, Sacvan. “The American Jeremiad.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 80-88.
“The Constitution of the United States of America.” In Kenneth M. Dolbeare and Michael S. Cummings (Eds.) American Political Thought (Fifth Edition). Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2004. pp. 71-79.
de Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
“The Declaration of Independence.” In Kenneth M. Dolbeare and Michael S. Cummings (Eds.) American Political Thought (Fifth Edition). Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2004. pp. 49-50.
Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 US Code, TITLE 8, CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER III, Part II, Sec. 1448. Online at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/u...8----000-.html.
Lipset, Seymour Martin. “American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 39-44.
Miller, Perry. “The New England Mind – From Colony to Province.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 76-79.
Pocock, John G. A. “The Machiavellian Moment – Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 99-112.
Rawls, John. “Political Liberalism.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 171-178.
Weber, Max. “The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism.” In Andreas Hess (Ed.) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader. New York City: New York University Press, 2003. pp. 47-53.


___________________

Old Post Jan-02-2008 01:50  United Nations
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Lira
Be a Good One!



Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Brasilia, Brazil and Manaus, Brazil
Re: PDD's Papers and Editorials

quote:
Originally posted by Lesbianosaur
Any takers? If enough people choose to participate, maybe Lira would sticky it?

I'm sticking this soon


___________________
“All I have learned, I learned from basslines.”

Old Post Jan-02-2008 02:04 
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Krypton
83.798 g/6.022x10^23



Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Texas

quote:
Originally posted by Lesbianosaur
Not necessarily. To use the Weberian definition, a state is sovereign when it has a sole legitimate authority over a defined geographical territory. But the operative word here is legitimate - what defines legitimacy? An election? The mere fact that said authority has not yet been overthrown? The Zimbabwean government is surely the sole authority over a defined territory, but is it really legitimate? Opposition leaders are killed and mutilated, and elections are wrought with fraud.


The sole authority is the organization that operates the country's legislature, judiciary, and executive positions; whether it be a multi-party republic or dictorial.

quote:
Two comments - what defines a state? Is a failed state still a legitimate state and thereby protected by the provisions of the UN charter? What about a state that is not recognized by all members of the UN? Taiwan comes to mind.


A state is the sovereign territory of a nation. A failed state is one in which the state loses the monopoly on the use of force, which includes authority collapse of military, police, and public services. Iraq, by this very straightforward definition, was not a failed state, but a poorly performing one. In some areas such as political/media freedom, they clearly failed. Also judicial freedoms such as habeas corpus were non-existane, again another failure. But the Baath Party had firm control of government services, military, police, etc. Even so, failed state status is not a justification for foreign invasion.

quote:
And if a state fails to carry out its international obligations faithfully, does it forfeit its right to the protections outlined in points 1-5? The international community had demanded more transparency from Iraq, and Iraq had failed to give it. The Hussein regime also defied international human rights conventions on a fairly regular basis. At what point can it be said that a country does not live up to its international obligations?


In a just society, even criminals have rights. Therefore, applying this frame of rights to international politics, even criminal states should have rights. If they fail to carry out international obligations, then there should be a pre-defined action such as refusal to carry out relations with said country, sanctions, international isolation, etc.

I am not for pure non-interventionism. But when it comes to military invasions, I stop the line of justified interventionism right there. Military intervention is only appropriate when a sovereign state's territorial/infrastructural integrity is under imminent or active threat of attack by another sovereign state or even non-state organizations.

A state that does not live up to its international obligations is one that breaks international treaties that the state has signed and pledged to uphold.

quote:
Are sanctions not a violation of sovereignty under this definition? Is a UN inspection team not a violation of sovereignty?


No, as the territorial/infrastructural integrity of that state is not being directly attacked. You can refuse political and commercial accommodations without violating the sanctioned state.

quote:
Ok, now this is where I strongly disagree. Saddam had a monopoly of power in Iraq. How would you suggest the people rise up and overthrow the yoke of oppression when all visible opposition is not only crushed but publicly brutalized? The families of any person deemed in opposition to the regime were punished. It can hardly be stated that Iraqis were simply satisfied with the state of their affairs by virtue of not having launched a successful revolution.


That still is not a legitimate excuse to violate the territorial/infrastructural sovereignty of the "state" of Iraq. Again, I am against unjustified military interventionism, which would violate territorial/infrastructural sovereignty.

quote:
And to bring another example to bear - what should be done in Darfur? You have a minority population with very little means of opposing a powerful state acting without impunity or tip of the hat to human rights against its own citizens. It is completely impossible for the Khartoum government to be overthrown from within... so should we view the inability of the population to change its government as tacit approval? I don't think so.


That still does not warrant a military intervention. What you do do is negotiate a treaty between warring factions and if the scenario warrants it, a treaty allowing an international or "independent party" force provide peace keeping and mediation services.

quote:
In Burma, the military junta brutalizes any who dare defy it - even monks! How can it be reasonably stated that Burmese citizens have the capability of deciding their own futures? I think Mill here is either outdated or wrong.


It is unfortunate, but that does still does not warrant a military intervention.

quote:
The United States has an innate belief in the power of revolution, having been borne itself out of one. But what is vastly different is that the British were not the sole purveyors of authority over the Americas... localized militias were empowered to pursue their own interests, and were turned against their British masters in the Revolution. No such apparatus exists in many of the war-torn countries of the world. Failed states exhibit complete monopolization of power for the sole expressed purpose of eliminating any future potential threat to their authority. And in addition, lest we forget our history, remember that it was only with the aid of an outside power, the French, that the American militias were able to secure a victory over Britain.


Now if we're talking about 4th world nations, or nations without a state, then we'll have to go by a little different rules. Such is the case of separatist Kosovo Province within Serbia. Kosovo is a 4th world nation without a legitamite state...yet...

So how should we deal with a conflict between the majority state vs. minority separatist province? A provincial referendum should be held in Kosovo deciding the issue. Much as the US has given Puerto Rico the choice of independence, statehood, or status quo commonwealth.

quote:
I think your argument here is not well-suited to non-interventionism, which I think is a complete abrogation of international responsibilities to human rights. Complete and total sovereignty carried out to its Nth degree is a blank check handed to despots and warlords, free to act without impunity against their own populations in ensuring no future threat to their power. That is far too dangerous.


I am not arguing for complete and total sovereignty, but I am arguing for nation-states rights under international law, even for criminal states, just as criminals have their rights under a just judiciary. Military interventionism or more plainly, war, should be used in only the rarest of circumstances, and only to protect territorial/infrastructural sovereignty of a legitimate state.

quote:
Instead, I would argue that you, like Mill, do make a compelling argument against democracy-building. Intervention can be undertaken in two ways - it can be the apparatus of providing change directed from the bottom or orchestrated from the outside. I think intervention provides a very important purpose when it creates a ripe moment for change within a country that has failed its own people. But it is absolutely essential that control over the design of the subsequent state is handed over to the indigenous population and not dictated by an outside source. In other words, the largest mistake (in my eyes) that the United States made was not the removal of Saddam from power - he was a tyrant and could hardly be described as legitimate. The mistake was in the quest to build a democracy without deferring first to local Iraqis for their own vision and implementation of political aims and objectives.


I would say Saddam Hussein was the legitimate ruler of Iraq because he controlled all state institutions and was recognized as such by the Iraqi nation. I'de also say the US military failed to maintain law & order within the first crucial hours of the Iraqi state collapse, which allowed for rampant looting of infrastructure, and most of all, enough weapons to feed years worth of insurgency.

quote:
Now, if we can just decide on a common definition of a "legitimate" state, maybe things wouldn't remain so muddled.


A legitimate state is one in which the governing organization maintains a monopoly on state institutions along with the authority to use force.

quote:
In any case, this was a very interesting read. Thanks for posting.


Yep, writing stuff like this is good for setting opinions down in academic stone, so one can be absolutely sure in what he believes. Especially when it comes to apologetics one way or the other...


___________________

Old Post Jan-02-2008 02:38  Korea-Democratic Peoples Republic
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Krypton
83.798 g/6.022x10^23



Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Texas

I wrote a paper about Hitler, LOL!! I used Freudian psychology to do a little examination of Hitler's psyche. I thought I had the best subject in the class!! Hitler was the craziest dude of them all!!

THESIS: Adolf Hitler is recognized by most of the world as the very epitome of evil. He was responsible for directly or indirectly the deaths of tens of millions of people across the globe. The holocaust was the very manifestation of his paranoid hatred of the Jews. In this paper, I will try to explain his motivation for power, blood, and glory according to psychological theory.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lifespan Development and Personality Paper


Adolf Hitler is recognized by most of the world as the very epitome of evil. He was responsible for directly or indirectly the deaths of tens of millions of people across the globe. The holocaust was the very manifestation of his paranoid hatred of the Jews. In this paper, I will try to explain his motivation for power, blood, and glory according to psychological theory.

Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria in 1889 (Bullock, 1962). His father Alois Hitler was a customs official for the Austro-Hungarian Empire (et al). His mother Klara Pölzl was a housewife who was very fond of Adolf as a child. The household in which Adolf grew up was very dysfunctional. His father beat him regularly contributing to Adolf’s extreme introverted personality. His mother was too afraid of Alois to help when he would go into a rage and beat Adolf with a stick.

Alois Hitler had wanted his son to become a customs official just like himself. Adolf despised his father and would not submit to his demands. Adolf flunked out of high school and pursued a career as a painter. When he applied for acceptance into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts he was rejected twice (et al). Adolf lived the life of a pauper from 1907 to 1914, and largely blamed his misfortunes on Jews.

Adolf developed a theory around which Jews were responsible for the crises of the day, for his own misfortunes, and for the socialist movements sweeping Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From this basic theory came the roots of his Nazism, pan-Germanism, and anti-Marxism.

Heredity and Environment

Adolf Hitler’s heredity plays an extremely minimal role for who he became as an adult. Though he had within him his father’s pre-disposition to anger, environment played the most crucial role in how his personality developed. The abuse suffered by Adolf from his father imprinted within him a lingering anger that could never be satisfied; much like a desire for revenge. He could not take any form of revenge on his father because he died in 1903. The most sensitive period of anyone’s life is in their formulative years as a child, and it is these years of experience which form the basis of adult personality.

The abusive dysfunction of Adolf’s young life inevitably led to scathing hatred of enemies real and imagined. He had to take revenge on those he saw as detrimental to society. One can only imagine the paranoia, fear, and anger stemming from constantly having to be afraid in your own household. For children, this way of development is abnormal, and detrimental to shaping a rational apathetic personality. Most violent criminals also grew up in circumstances similar or worse to that of Adolf Hitler’s.

Harry and Margaret Harlow showed by experiment that Sigmund Freud was correct in the notion that the most formulative years of development are in childhood. Any detrimental rearing or debilitating circumstances during these years would carry on in personality for the rest of the child’s life. This would explain why Adolf Hitler was paranoid, angry, and prone to fits of rage even with his highest ranking generals.

Optimal Parenting Practices

The optimal parenting practice for any child is one of peaceful nurture, family rules, and appropriate discipline. The parent should not pass on frustrations to the child whether it be in the form of verbal abuse or physical abuse. It is best when the child has reasonable rules to follow and structure especially in the developmental years. The child should learn the concept of boundaries of behavior and how consequences result from different behaviors.

The most appropriate discipline for children is one that does not physically harm them but demonstrates a certain behavior to be wrong. The child should be informed ahead of time the consequences to specific behaviors so the child knows what to expect in punishment, and so in the future refrains from certain behaviors. The punishment should fit the crime and never hurt the child physically or punish their self-esteem. Once the child has been punished, they have essentially paid for their misbehavior and the issue should not have a lingering effect that never leaves the child’s attention.

Theories of Personality

Trait theory developed by Gordon Allport theorizes that personality is a manifestation of what the person values most. These traits are divided into 3 rankings of importance to the personality which is cardinal traits, central traits, and secondary traits. These traits are most strongly developed in the formulative years of childhood and form the basis of adult personality traits.

Examining Adolf Hitler’s formulative years, it can be said that he had a very difficult developmental life. Anger and rebellion played a very large role in his childhood and would remain so in his adult years. These experiences led Adolf to develop cardinal traits which formed the basis of Nazi ideology. The most important cardinal trait Adolf held was a hatred of Jews. His central trait was for a social revolution in which the strongest were valued most, and the weak were expendable. His secondary trait was the act of pursuing the goals of what he valued most; the destruction of the weak so the strong could survive.

Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory states that our personalities are made up of three consciousnesses which are the id, ego, and super ego. The id mainly operates on the pleasure principle which is the desire to satisfy our pleasurable desires and limit pain irrespective of how others may be affected. Usually id is suppressed by the super ego and is very difficult to bring to the conscious. But in certain unusual cases this happens.

Adolf Hitler’s id to satisfy his sexual desires were manifested by his pronouncement that his wife was the German people. Adolf never witnessed love between his parents and so he had a very distorted notion of what normal relations were between men and women. It was impossible for Adolf to have normal relations with women, but yet he still had the id of sexual desire. The pain of his abuse and the pent up sexual frustration of Adolf’s id manifested itself in his obsessive micro-management of his Nazi Party, and the spectacularly emotional speeches he is most famous for. In effect, he suppressed his id by “marrying” the German nation, and obsessively working his political system which required his conscious attention.

References
Bullock, A. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (Penguin Books 1962), 23.
Bullock, A. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, 25.
Bullock, A. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, 30-31.


___________________

Old Post Jan-02-2008 02:51  Korea-Democratic Peoples Republic
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George Smiley
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: 9 Bywater Street, Chelsea, London

I like the idea of this but all my good essays are 6,000 words!

Is there another way we could do this without clogging this thread up? Like an external site with one page per essay. This thread could then act as an index for it (plus a short discription)

I suppose we could do that here with the opening post being the index linking to the post number (altho I don't think I'll be able to fit in 6,000 words!!!)

Old Post Jan-02-2008 10:00  England
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