The Price of Democracy

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Thanks to a post over at Lethbridgiana, I was reminded of two pieces of information related to the recent announcement that Saddam Hussein would be hanged.

This morning’s Lethbridge Herald reported:

President George W. Bush called the verdict ?¢‚Ǩ?ìa milestone in the Iraqi people?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

?¢‚Ǩ?ìIt?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a major achievement for Iraq?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s young democracy and its constitutional government,?¢‚Ǩ¬ù the president said.

?¢‚Ǩ?ìToday, the victims of this regime have received a measure of the justice which many thought would never come,?¢‚Ǩ¬ù he added.

In an article in last month’s issue of The Lancet, a UK medical journal, Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, Les Roberts claimed:

We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been 654,965 . . . excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2.5% of the population in the study area. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 . . . were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire.

Is the price of over half a million deaths a reasonable price to pay for democracy?

26 thoughts on “The Price of Democracy

  1. Kim said: “Is the price of over half a million deaths a reasonable price to pay for democracy?”

    Can you put a number on freedom? Freedom is worth whatever it takes.

  2. “Freedom is worth whatever it takes.”

    Most people would prefer a convienient, comfortable prison to a difficult, and agonizing freedom.

    Some freedom in not worth whatever it takes, in my opinion. I’d rather have my children remain alive than die for freedom of undefined stability or length, for instance.

  3. “Freedom is worth whatever it takes?”

    Is freedom worth the total destruction of the entire world? Is freedom worth the loss of freedom? At what point are you no longer free? Is freedom worth going into major debt? Are you free if you go into debt? Our nation is currently putting the war in Iraq on a credit card. Does that make us free, or does it not tie us down to our creditors?

    Iraqis did not free themselves, but were freed by others; they owe a debt to their liberators. Are they, thus really free? I heard once that Rumsfeld was against Iraqis choosing a Shia theocratic government as their choice government. What did we go there, if not to let the people decide for themselves what kind of government to choose? The utter hypocrisy of Republican leadership in claiming a desire for democracy in the world, but then having utter disdain when the people choose a group or a party that does not like the United States. I am reminded of a quote by Henry Kissinger:

    “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

  4. Supposedly more than a million Iraqi babies died because of peaceful U.N. sanctions. Can we afford peace?

  5. rick said: “Most people would prefer a convienient, comfortable prison to a difficult, and agonizing freedom.

    Some freedom in not worth whatever it takes, in my opinion. I’d rather have my children remain alive than die for freedom of undefined stability or length, for instance.”

    Have you watched the movie Braveheart? I would rather die a free man than to serve another – of course I would prefer to pay someone to fight for my freedom. I do –

    Do Canadians still serve the Queen and use loonies for coins?

  6. Is freedom worth banishing 1/3 of the billions of pre-earth life spirits to eternal damnation and darkness?

    God thought so.

    Is freedom worth the sacrifice of God’s only begotten in the flesh?

    God thought so.

  7. “Is freedom worth banishing 1/3 of the billions of pre-earth life spirits to eternal damnation and darkness?”

    Technically, it was a third part, which could mean one-third, or it could mean one half or one eighth or any other innumerable combinations of a whole split into three parts.

  8. I find it interesting how this discussion has changed my question on whether those deaths are a reasonable price to pay for democracy to whether freedom is worth their deaths.

  9. It has also, for some reason, equated freedom and democracy.

    Not a conclusion I would draw, but whatever.

    “…I would rather die a free man than to serve another…”

    Said the person who valued their own life less than the safety of their family.

    Talk is cheap. Statements like the one above are romantic and inspiring but are seldom reflected in reality. That’s why those who do stand up are considered heroic.

    Me? I’m a coward.

    “Do Canadians still serve the Queen and use loonies for coins?”

    Not sure on the former, but the latter stands true.

  10. >Technically, it was a third part, which could mean one-third, or it could mean one half or one eighth or any other innumerable combinations of a whole split into three parts.

    That interpretation renders the statement meaningless. Generally, when we discuss “parts” we refer to equal parts, not just arbitrary divisions, e.g., recipes calling for one part water and one part oil.

  11. “Generally, when we discuss “parts” we refer to equal parts”

    Sometimes? Sure. Generally? That’s debatable. We use it in the manner I mentioned all the time. for example, my parents are a part of my family and so are me and my siblings; two separate, yet unequal parts.

  12. rick said: “Me? I’m a coward.”

    Is it easier to be a coward when your family is not in danger? Would you protect your family if they were in danger?

  13. Freedom is priceless and I would give my life for freedom. I listened to a young girl Clemantine who is a genocide survivor from Rwanda. In 1994, 800,000 people were murdered in Rwanda. She was just 6 years old when she says she hid in a banana tree, listening to the screams coming from her grandparents’ house as members of her family were murdered.

    Clemantine and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, were left to fend for themselves. They say they hid for 100 terrifying days and then spent six years in refugee camps across Africa, always holding out hope that their parents survived and they would one day be reunited.

    Clemantine and Claire moved to America in 2000, and the two sisters continued to search for their parents. One day, through a chance meeting at the home of an acquaintance, Clemantine and Claire got the news that their mother and father were both alive!

    Those 2 girls living alone and so young for that lenght of time…. yes I would say that price was worth their freedom.

  14. But the scriptures don’t say a part left. It says a third part. That is indicative of three equal parts, else the third is extraneous. You would merely say A part (not a THIRD part).

    For example, if it’s not indicative of three equal parts, with 1/3 leaving, then what are the two other parts?

    Answer: They refer to the 2/3s left. Otherwise you have to come up with some theory as to what each of the other groupings/categories each other part would consist of.

  15. See these scriptures for similar English usage:

    * Rev. 8: 7-12

    * Ezek. 5: 2, 12

    * 2 Sam. 18: 2

    * D&C 29: 36

    (There are many others.)

  16. “Is it easier to be a coward when your family is not in danger?”

    No, quite the opposite. It’s much easier to be a coward when your family IS in danger.

    “Would you protect your family if they were in danger?”

    Really depends on what kind of danger, no?

  17. That’s precisely what I’m saying and I think that most people would act the same.

    For example, let’s assume that my family is being held against our will at gunpoint while our house is being robbed.

    Is my family in danger? Obviously. Will the danger pass? Probably. So I wouuld probably not try some Bruce Willis take-out move on the gunman. That would be stupid.

    Try another scenario. Bear attack. A grizzly is bearing down on my son and daughter. Chances are I’m going to step in to do something to get the wild animal off my kids.

    These two examples apply directed to types of danger in societies.

    Sometimes our freedoms are violated in the short term, to varying degrees of uncomfortablility (the home invasion example). Most people are not inclined to react in a way that would be revolutionary if they are not terribly opposed to the status quo.

    Whereas when we feel in eminent peril (bear attack), we are spurred to immediate actions which can be far outside our normal day-today dispositions.

    People who say ‘I’d rather die than lose my freedom’ are blatant hypocrites if they travel by air.

    During the period where they are detained and questioned (not to mention barred admission if they are carrying firearms) I hope these champions of freedom are yelling and fighting and defending their personal liberties right up until the point where they get arrested, and unable to bear the thought of living for an hour without their f”>Tonal freedom, take their own lives in protest.

  18. That seems reasonable. What I fail to understand, though, is how the world can justify standing by and doing nothing as people are slaughtered by their governments (Darfur, pre-war Iraq, Rwanda).

  19. People are comfortable.

    The lack of an eminent PERSONAL danger allows them to ignore actions that, if placed in their back yard, would spurr them to action.

  20. Just for interest sake, the group you quote has a history of using hyperbole to make their point,to a magnitude of ten-fold.
    Interesting material for debate, but lacking in historical fact.
    They are as credible as the Arab writers for AP on Israeli atrocities.

  21. Larry’s point is important. It’s also important that there’s really no other responsible organization or significant authority that agrees with the Lancet on this grossly inflated figure.

  22. Interesting. You think the oldest and most respected medical journal in the world is as credible as Arab writers for AP? That’s quite a stance to take.

    And when you say “history”, can you be more specific? Is this something they’ve been doing with every article they’ve published for the last 180 years, or is it in reference to a handful of articles in the last decade or so?

  23. When they step outside of medical information and go into the realm of activist politics – that is when they engage in hyperbole.

  24. Simply put NO, the price of over half a million deaths is not a reasonable price to pay for democracy, and lets not confuse the ideology of democracy with Imperialism (since that is the American Congress’ real agenda).

Leave a Reply