The Topics


March 10, 2005

Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza: Light at the End of the Tunnel

Creative Policy Debate Question 7

Social scientist Malcolm Gladwell has written a well publicized book titled The Tipping Point, which refers to how a change in behavior or perception can reach a critical mass before suddenly creating a whole new reality. Thomas Friedman refers to this book in raising three simultaneously occurring Tipping Points: the Elections in Iraq, the murder of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and Sharon’s commitment to disengaging from the Gaza strip.

Do recent events in these three regions suggest the development of a new reality in the Middle East? What new policies should the United States and Europe adapt to respond to recent events?

Participants in the Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza: Light at the End of the Tunnel Creative Debate


Subjects proposed by moderator: Are Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza the same thing or not? and in which way?

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2005 04:30 PM

[Mient Jaenfaber]

There are some similarities and obvious differences. The similarity is that they are occupied and that the trend is democracy but with a minority not wanting it.

There has been stablished a network between the three areas in Aman in order to promote open societies. Suddenly loyalty to people is more important than national loyalty. The existence of this network is already a change happening in all the three places.

In Gaza, talking to radical movements, they made understood that they live in Gaza feeling that it is a cemetary; that`s why the suicide attacks are a kind of celebration of what is already dead. This made him reflect that if the situation changes, the instrument will change.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2005 04:38 PM

[Samer Al Nasir]

In Iraq, judges, government... are followed because no one believes that they can really do justice or good governance. People don't want these judges and this government because it has foreign support.

In Spain nobody had to impose democracy, why should Iraq have democracy imposed. Because to force it does not work. You have to go and see what Iraqis need and search in them for the solution.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2005 04:45 PM

[David Ugarte]

Does this mean that you oppose absolutely foreign intervention?

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2005 04:46 PM

[Samer Al Nasir]

No. The problem is 'how'. For example, in Clinton's time, he supported a project that consisted funding a juridical project for the forecoming democracy carried out by Iraqi lawyers in London. In Bush's administration, the professional team, composed by foreign specialists of other fields. So this organization cannot be supported by the Iraqian people.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2005 04:55 PM

[Charmian Gooch]

What is the role of the Americans towards this light at the end of the tunnel?

USA's foreign policy is really just advantaging; it is Americans making foundations towards a future geopolitical position with China in the scene.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2005 05:00 PM

[Mient Jaenfaber]

Sharon states that it is impossible to reach an agreement with Palestinians because they don't work in rational terms, (like the western way of working). Also that Palestinians would become the majority and put in danger the Israeli State. That's why they feel like they can just take unilateral decisions.

The political game now is that there are some initiatives and that outside support is needed, and coordination.

In the Iraq scenario, it was made obviously that the Americans had not thought through what was really going to be done.

The feeling in Iraq now is that they want to build a solid State and they want foreign help. From his personal experience, being asked for help, he found that the EU governments didn't feel any responsibility for the Iraq problem. Politically, they did not want to get involved because Saddam was actually the head of state.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop at March 11, 2005 05:10 PM

[Ram Manikalingam]

Gaza, Iraq and Lebanon are all three occupied, with different levels of stability and governance.

Lebanon, occupied by Syria, with a stable form that has allowed it now to claim Syria to leave.

Gaza, occupied by Israel, without a political stability but with political inclusion.

What will happen with Iraq? To what model will it move to?

Is occupation always bad or can it lead to a stable democracy? What about political inclusion or exclusion?

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop at March 11, 2005 05:28 PM

[David Ugarte]

Democracy for a safer world or security for a democratic world?

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop at March 11, 2005 05:37 PM

[Mient Jaenfaber]

Maybe it is not so much about security, but about authority. Asking Iraqi people what model of state did they prefer, (Turkey, USA, South Africa...), and they all answered South Africa because of Mandela, because they found in him an honest man.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop at March 11, 2005 05:40 PM

[David Ugarte]

The problem when discussing about terrorism is that every different terrorism is understood differently in its context. For example, in Palestine it is seen as a technological action, (they don't have any other way of fighting their cause).

Those who are thought to be terrorists in one part of the world are seen as heroes by others.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop at March 11, 2005 05:58 PM

[Natalia Fernández]

The turning point is 11-M. A new perception has arose. There is a global terrorism that is coming over the local terrorisms. The new international problem is the organized terrorism at a higher level.

The good side of this globalization is that with new technologies you can reinforce the role of civilians.

Posted by: AtochaWorkshop at March 11, 2005 06:05 PM

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