Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby ray245 » 2016-01-28 02:44pm

I think it is fairly safe to say that much of the US-led efforts at nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed. There was a lot of desire initially for a new Iraq and Afghanistan, in some sense seeking to build a new democratic nation in line with places like S.Korea. It is unlikely that anything of this sort is happening in any major part of the Middle-east in the near future.

I think it will be interesting if anyone have anything to share on this.
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-01-28 02:51pm

for Afghanistan is that country itself is an artificial construct that no-one has really been able to make a viable nation, for Iraq I'd said it had alot to do with fact that USA didn't take the local culture into account and instead trying to build a system that would work within that they tried implimenting a US system that was doomed from the start.
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Adam Reynolds » 2016-01-28 04:21pm

The fundamental issue in the entire Middle East is the majority-minority problem. As an example that is probably the best liked in the West, the Kurds are among the largest ethnic groups in the region and yet are minorities in every nation in which they reside. Whatever group is the majority will stay busy oppressing the minority in any "democracy." Which is one reason why dictators, while unfortunate, are a force for stability. They often play on those rivalries to prevent any one from being a threat to their power base. In the end, a democratically elected leader only needs to win over the majority religion to utterly control the nation. In Iraq, this group is the Shia Arabs who control the nation and subjugate the Sunni groups.

Iraq in particular is a shit storm of political instability, with the three tribal groups(Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds) utterly unable to cooperate. The fact that the Sunni groups were once in power leads them to animosity and into the hands of ISIS.

As for Afghanistan, it is not referred to as the graveyard of Empires for nothing. Like the Middle East, it is fundamentally tribal with no allegiance to any nation state. Especially when you combine this with a rural environment with little natural ability for trade due to the remote location of the entire nation. This location problem means that there is no reason for anyone to consider it, even as a potential source of cheap labor.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-01-28 04:47pm

Afghanistan originated like this:

"Okay, Brits, take as much as you can realistically control, and that you think is worth your time to police. Russians, you do that too. The parts that feel Iranian can stay part of Iran. Aaaand... shit, what are we going to do with the leftovers?"

Afghanistan was really just this blob of random ungovernable land. The stuff left over after two great powers and one relatively small one had taken all the territory they actually wanted. The places that were (circa 1900) so impoverished, so full of warring clansmen, and so fundamentally lacking in strategic value that nobody could even hope to make ownership of that territory profitable.

It's kind of like those playground sports where both teams take turns choosing members, and you get kids left over who neither team wants.

Now, the Afghans were starting to do at least a partial job of dragging themselves out of the mud, but then the Russians invaded, and the US further destabilized things by turning it into a proxy war. And unlike when the roles were reversed in Vietnam, the winning side was unable to maintain a lasting government, so the country dissolved into chaos, which was then taken over by the Taliban (who were a lot like ISIL, really, in the early days), and then you know the rest of the story.

About the best a place like Afghanistan can hope for, based on realistic historical precedents, is a series of two or three generations of dictators who aren't too corrupt and who have enough dynastic ambition to actually try and build up the country. Which is essentially what they had, in the form of a monarchy, once upon a time.

Better forms of government certainly exist, but most of them don't work until there's already a country there for them to govern. Afghanistan isn't a country right now, it's a blob of ungovernable land, just like it was back in the 1800s.
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As for the Middle East, so far as I know the majority/minority problem really isn't the core issue at work except in Syria and Iraq, and in Sudan (where the majority has been brutally purging and destroying the minority in Darfur). Most other problems are caused by religious movements who are not truly a minority- they're just the "we think we're more Muslim than you" sector of an otherwise uniform population.
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Welf » 2016-01-30 09:36am

It probably wouldn't have worked anyway, but the occupants made the error to dissolve any remaining national institutions. They could have installed the monarchy in Afghanistan again, and let the army in Iraq continue to exist. Without any nationally recognized institutions there isn't really any chance to build consensus and execute laws.
Maybe they could have split up Iraq into 3 different countries, each with a more homogeneous ethnicity and thus better chances to build parties and organisations. Or spent more time and effort on Afghanistan, making sure they have a national government who actually does its job instead of stealing as much money as possible.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Ziggy Stardust » 2016-01-31 12:26pm

At least in Afghanistan, one of the big American blunders (both during the proxy war against the Russians and later during the invasion/occupation) was simply a lack of reasonable investment in rebuilding the national infrastructure and a tendency to forge long-term political alliances on the basis of short-term military or strategic expediencies.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Adam Reynolds » 2016-01-31 02:15pm

Welf wrote:Maybe they could have split up Iraq into 3 different countries, each with a more homogeneous ethnicity and thus better chances to build parties and organisations. Or spent more time and effort on Afghanistan, making sure they have a national government who actually does its job instead of stealing as much money as possible.

Had the US split Iraq into the three sections, the Kurds would have attempted to created a Kurdish state out of Turkish territory, the Shia majority would have likely attempted to link up with Iran, and the Sunnis in Iraq would have attempted to link up with the Sunnis in Syria. You know, just like what is currently happening. This is exactly the quagmire Dick Cheney predicted nine years before the invasion. Too bad he wasn't in power to do something about it:

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-01-31 10:34pm

A professor once told me that a nation wants three things: Order, Freedom, and Diversity. The problem is that can only choose two of the three to have an actual working nation.

Applying this model, one can see that Iraq and Afghanistan were originally Order-Diversity nations, in that they emphasized authoritarian rule over a diverse population. The US tried to add freedom to the mix and that only caused order to collapse.

So now we have Free and Diverse countries like Iraq and Afghanistan where Order is weak. Minorities in these nations are moving towards union with other nations - e.g. the Shia with Iran - since this may allow them to create Order-Freedom nations that don't have to deal with internal strife due to the cultural / ethnic diversity.

Of course one may argue that the premise is wrong to begin with, and that a nation can have Order, Freedom, and Diversity without drawbacks, but I think you need to have a lot of time to develop institutions that would allow such an "ideal" nation to emerge in the first place.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby madd0ct0r » 2016-02-01 04:02am

I think your prof was talking out of his arse. Or would describe the UK as a police state?
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-02 01:45am

madd0ct0r wrote:I think your prof was talking out of his arse. Or would describe the UK as a police state?


Orderly countries are not automatically police states. Japan is far more orderly than the UK and is hardly a police state.

UK is much more on the Order-Freedom axis anyway - they are an English-majority nation with 87% of the population being "white" and no non-white ethnicity breaching the 10% mark. America by contrast is at 70+% European/white. Embracing "diversity" being more of a recent thing in the UK and there's still plenty of push back against immigration and further diversification.

By contrast Iraq is divided 42%-51% between Sunni and Shia (other sects making up the difference). That's an actual diverse country and not just one paying lip service to the idea of diversity.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby madd0ct0r » 2016-02-02 03:54am

I'm not sure you can argue pushback against diversity as evidence of not being diverse and mention Iraq in the next sentence. The UK ethnic minority aren't huge, but given the structure of the country we''re talking a much steeper ratio in the cities. And on tv. And in music and sport and pretty much every aspect of popular culture. You won't find a town without Chinese and Indian restaurants. Let's not bother with talking about languages and Celtic nations who'd very neatly voted for independence.

Does your professor consider the USA to be "freedom" or "order then"?
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-02 08:59pm

madd0ct0r wrote:I'm not sure you can argue pushback against diversity as evidence of not being diverse and mention Iraq in the next sentence. The UK ethnic minority aren't huge, but given the structure of the country we''re talking a much steeper ratio in the cities.


Again: The divide between Sunni and Shia in Iraq is around 40-50. That is an actual diverse country.

By contrast the French-speaking minority in Canada is about as big as all of the UK minorities combined. Do you see anyone claiming that Canada is "diverse" because they kept Quebec?

Again, you are subscribing to mere perceptions of diversity. Just because Brits claim to love Indian curry does mean they are a diverse country. This is the equivalent of claiming that a token black character makes the cast of a sitcom "diverse".

The UK in reality is not a diverse country. It has an overwhelming white majority. One can even argue that the non-white minorities have been so well integrated - speaking the same language as the core majority for instance - that any diversity is in fact superficial. French Canadians by contrast are a much more distinct society compared to the rest of English-speaking Canada; but because of the overwhelming majority of English-speaking Canada nobody tries to claim Canada is diverse because of Quebec.

Does your professor consider the USA to be "freedom" or "order then"?


First of all, since you seem intent on adopting a dismissive tone to everything, I am talking of a professor as a peer - in that we are both knowledgeable about the subject - not as his student.

Second, yes, the "diversity" of the United States is in fact largely mythological. White Americans are still the overwhelming majority - over 70% - and as recently as the 1960s treated minorities as second-class citizens codified as laws, placed an entire minority into internment camps as recently as the 1940s, and to this day still has deep divides in demographics along specific ethnic/cultural lines.

Diversity means having multiple distinct and active societies within a nation's borders - societies that for instance speak a different language or practice a different religion.

Welcoming individuals from different societies but then imposing cultural integration (with legal or social penalties for "failing" to integrate) on them is not diversity. America in fact did not celebrate diversity. It instead paid lip service to diversity; when in reality to be accepted into the core American society you had to integrate yourself by learning English and adopting many of the "American" values. Indeed, until the recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants in the past several decades, America had proportionately fewer citizens than Canada who did not speak the core language of English; and yet Canada never beat its chest and pretended to be the safe haven for diversity in the world.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Kingmaker » 2016-02-03 12:54am

Diversity means having multiple distinct and active societies within a nation's borders


You never actually elaborated as to why a nation would be questing after this. Intuitively, this would seem antithetical to a harmonious and peaceful society. Also, why would the UK and US not qualify by this definition? Both contain multiple culturally distinct, semi-autonomous subunits, just like Iraq. And unlike Iraq, their constituent societies aren't actively trying to exterminate each other (any more).

America in fact did not celebrate diversity. It instead paid lip service to diversity


America has been openly touting an assimilationist approach to dealing with immigrants for well over a century now. People flogging multiculturalism is relatively new.

(Also, the US Non-Hispanic White population is ~64%, with both hispanics and blacks at >10%).

Canada never beat its chest and pretended to be the safe haven for diversity in the world.


We are talking about Canada, the large, sparsely populated country to the north of the United States, right?
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby madd0ct0r » 2016-02-03 01:01pm

Xinegata, I'm really confused here. Do Sunni and Shia groups in Iraq use different languages? If no, how is that different to the Catholic/protestant split in the UK?
Twenty years ago, religious divides in the UK were accompanied by bombing campaigns. Independence movements were accompanied by the burning of English holiday houses. Class warfare involved the police being set on strikers with riots and protests across the country. I can only assume that under your knowledgeable peer's theory that the UK was classed as diverse and free. What are we now that town centres aren't routinely blown up? The Welsh language used to be banned. Now it's required and political violence has decreased!


What about Belgium? Split language, split culture. Didn't elect a government for over a year. Does that count as a break down in order in your silly simplistic system? I wonder if incidents of violence changed?

What about South Africa?
What about India vs Bangladesh? One is hugely more diverse yet I wouldn't say they differ on order and freedom, would you?

What about Nazi Germany? Hardly diverse, yet rather lacking in freedoms.
Does it scale? Singapore is a country that fits, what about London? What about Mexico city?
China is a country that fits, what about the Eu?

Oh. We see more breakdowns in the model. Perhaps it's not very good?

You see, I really dislike your model. I think it does not replicate reality. It oversimplifies and drops all solutions to social cohesion in a country that aren't 1) authoritarian state, 2) cultural genocide 3) tearing itself into less diverse chunks.
I can think of easy, violent examples for all three.

But I can think of plenty of exceptions. Which implies you have lost part of the big picture.
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Coop D'etat » 2016-02-03 01:07pm

Zinegata wrote:Welcoming individuals from different societies but then imposing cultural integration (with legal or social penalties for "failing" to integrate) on them is not diversity. America in fact did not celebrate diversity. It instead paid lip service to diversity; when in reality to be accepted into the core American society you had to integrate yourself by learning English and adopting many of the "American" values. Indeed, until the recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants in the past several decades, America had proportionately fewer citizens than Canada who did not speak the core language of English; and yet Canada never beat its chest and pretended to be the safe haven for diversity in the world.



This just goes to show that you don't know/listen too many Canadians. Claiming that it is

1) Very diverse due to having historically about a quarter of the country speak an entirely different language

2) a beacon of successful diversity and multi-culturalism

Are such common tropes of Canadian nationalism that they have become cliches.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Purple » 2016-02-03 05:54pm

The main issue with this model is one that should be obvious. It neglects the most important aspect of all, wealth. And that one changes everything up.

If a country is poor than the only way for it to survive is order. Both freedom and diversity will if present at all without it lead to distinct groups clumping up and either blaming one another for their predicament (thus leading to genocide) or blaming the union for their predicament (thus leading to a breakup of the nation).

A country that is neither rich nor poor meanwhile must entertain two out of three. And not just any two. Order + diversity will keep the groups in line even when they inevitably clump up against one another. Freedom + Order works well to keep things in line and ensure a monocultural nation at the very lest does not decline in wealth. But Freedom + Diversity will inevitably lead it to slide down and down as every single bump in the road leads to the sort of clumping up that cripples poor diverse countries.

A rich country meanwhile can frankly do as it pleases because no matter what combination of the three it runs on the people will be too fed, too plump and too satisfied for them to contemplate doing anything stupid to break this thing apart. Fact of the matter is that no matter how much a person is racist or freedom loving he would rather live in a wealthy 1st world dictatorship that's full of minorities than in a poor 3rd world country befitting his ideals. That much is true for most people.
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-03 11:22pm

madd0ct0r wrote:Xinegata, I'm really confused here. Do Sunni and Shia groups in Iraq use different languages? If no, how is that different to the Catholic/protestant split in the UK?


Nope, but you seem unaware that you're digging the grave for your own argument when you bring up the UK religion issue

Twenty years ago, religious divides in the UK were accompanied by bombing campaigns. Independence movements were accompanied by the burning of English holiday houses. Class warfare involved the police being set on strikers with riots and protests across the country. I can only assume that under your knowledgeable peer's theory that the UK was classed as diverse and free. What are we now that town centres aren't routinely blown up? The Welsh language used to be banned. Now it's required and political violence has decreased!


The UK is again not diverse and free. Never was. It was always Order-Free.

With the exception of Ireland, less than 10% of England, Scotland, and Wales was Catholic. Meanwhile Northern Ireland is 41% Catholic. Gee, I wonder what exactly was the hot bed of the pro-Catholic / anti-England movement. Oh right, it's Northern Ireland - right where there's an actual religious divide in addition to centuries-long one based on persecution.

What about Belgium? Split language, split culture. Didn't elect a government for over a year. Does that count as a break down in order in your silly simplistic system? I wonder if incidents of violence changed?


Actually, Belgium is very much Diversity-Freedom. The breakdown of the government shows precisely how they lost Order because the place was Free and Diverse.

What about Nazi Germany? Hardly diverse, yet rather lacking in freedoms.


Actually, Nazi Germany was diverse - not ethnically but politically. The whole reason why the Nazis came to power was the struggle between communists and all the other political parties.

Diversity is again having many distinct and active societies within the nation. It is not just a racial issue.

Oh. We see more breakdowns in the model. Perhaps it's not very good?


I don't see any breakdowns. Why don't you attempt to actually show how these break down in those countries, instead of posturing and listing countries that you seem to be rather ignorant of yourself; because you certainly haven't shown any actual example.

You see, I really dislike your model. I think it does not replicate reality. It oversimplifies and drops all solutions to social cohesion in a country that aren't 1) authoritarian state, 2) cultural genocide 3) tearing itself into less diverse chunks.
I can think of easy, violent examples for all three.

But I can think of plenty of exceptions. Which implies you have lost part of the big picture.


You haven't actually demonstrated those exceptions.

The problem is really simple. You mistook British eating curry as them being "diverse". That is again not diversity. A Manila food court will feature more food from different countries than your typical British food court - Chinese, Korean, Japanese, American, Filipino (north and south), being the typical minimums. But that also does not mean these are more diverse; not when every one of those different food stalls in a Manila mall are all manned by Tagalogs and the people eating the food are almost all Tagalogs.

That only means our food courts have an international taste. We like pretending we are tourists in other countries. It does not meant we actually have a lot of Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and Americans in the country. It also does not mean the Tagalogs accept them.

Stamping your feet childishly and listing countries while declaring victory is not arguing. It's posturing.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-03 11:29pm

Purple wrote:The main issue with this model is one that should be obvious. It neglects the most important aspect of all, wealth. And that one changes everything up.

If a country is poor than the only way for it to survive is order. Both freedom and diversity will if present at all without it lead to distinct groups clumping up and either blaming one another for their predicament (thus leading to genocide) or blaming the union for their predicament (thus leading to a breakup of the nation).

A country that is neither rich nor poor meanwhile must entertain two out of three. And not just any two. Order + diversity will keep the groups in line even when they inevitably clump up against one another. Freedom + Order works well to keep things in line and ensure a monocultural nation at the very lest does not decline in wealth. But Freedom + Diversity will inevitably lead it to slide down and down as every single bump in the road leads to the sort of clumping up that cripples poor diverse countries.

A rich country meanwhile can frankly do as it pleases because no matter what combination of the three it runs on the people will be too fed, too plump and too satisfied for them to contemplate doing anything stupid to break this thing apart. Fact of the matter is that no matter how much a person is racist or freedom loving he would rather live in a wealthy 1st world dictatorship that's full of minorities than in a poor 3rd world country befitting his ideals. That much is true for most people.


The problem here is that wealth is not necessarily an indicator of behavior. For instance you're making a presumption that a poor country can only survive via Order. This is not the case. Indeed in many Third World countries there is a distinct lack of order.

Wealth is really more a way of segmenting the population into the various sub-societies within a nation. Again, it needs to be recognized - contrary to a lot of Anglo-Saxon presumptions - that a nation consists of multiple societies; and you cannot presume for instance that all Vietnamese are of the same society because they are of the same nationality. In many cases wealth is in fact one of the defining factors of this sub-society - which is why the values of America's 1%ers are often very much at odds with the rest of the country.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-03 11:34pm

Coop D'etat wrote:This just goes to show that you don't know/listen too many Canadians. Claiming that it is

1) Very diverse due to having historically about a quarter of the country speak an entirely different language

2) a beacon of successful diversity and multi-culturalism

Are such common tropes of Canadian nationalism that they have become cliches.


Actually, I was about to make the point that French-Canadians were usually the butt of jokes by Canadians themselves; and that your history tends to keep presenting Quebec as a "special problem" such as the conscription issue in World War 2. So yes Canada does have its own history of "diversity" delusions while at the same time making fun of the French-Canadian minority.

But people are already up in arms with the mere suggestion that having Indian curry in London restaurants doesn't mean you live in a diverse society. Indeed, the very reason why my professor friend doesn't like sharing this model publically is because people in Britain, America, and Canada have taken to presuming that diversity is a moral issue and that to claim they are not diverse is to imply they are bigots; when in reality we are talking about diversity as a demographic issue.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-03 11:46pm

Kingmaker wrote:You never actually elaborated as to why a nation would be questing after this. Intuitively, this would seem antithetical to a harmonious and peaceful society.


Because diversity allows you to be bigger and more powerful. Rome was the world's greatest empire because it accepted diversity - and not just superficial diversity. They allowed people to retain their language, customs, and religion in large areas of their empire.

Also, why would the UK and US not qualify by this definition? Both contain multiple culturally distinct, semi-autonomous subunits, just like Iraq. And unlike Iraq, their constituent societies aren't actively trying to exterminate each other (any more).


Because of the question of balance. The US and UK both have a specific and dominant society - in America it's termed by sociologists as WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) - who form 70% of the population in the US and 80% in Britain.

While there are many, smaller societies and minorities within these two nations (e.g. Latino Americans) which could be classified as "distinct", it cannot be said that they can be considered "active" particularly in comparison to the WASP majority. Push comes to shove, the WASP group can in fact push through something that all the other sub-societies can only go along with.

Compare and contrast to Belgium or Lebanon. Deadlock happens in their governments all the time because there is no single overwhelmingly dominant society to push things through.

America has been openly touting an assimilationist approach to dealing with immigrants for well over a century now. People flogging multiculturalism is relatively new.


Yup, hence my reference to the 60s and how persecution of "different" minorities was still codified by law back then

(Also, the US Non-Hispanic White population is ~64%, with both hispanics and blacks at >10%).


I'm looking at "European American" which consists of 70+% of the population:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Americans

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Coop D'etat » 2016-02-04 02:05am

Zinegata wrote:
Coop D'etat wrote:This just goes to show that you don't know/listen too many Canadians. Claiming that it is

1) Very diverse due to having historically about a quarter of the country speak an entirely different language

2) a beacon of successful diversity and multi-culturalism

Are such common tropes of Canadian nationalism that they have become cliches.


Actually, I was about to make the point that French-Canadians were usually the butt of jokes by Canadians themselves; and that your history tends to keep presenting Quebec as a "special problem" such as the conscription issue in World War 2. So yes Canada does have its own history of "diversity" delusions while at the same time making fun of the French-Canadian minority.

But people are already up in arms with the mere suggestion that having Indian curry in London restaurants doesn't mean you live in a diverse society. Indeed, the very reason why my professor friend doesn't like sharing this model publically is because people in Britain, America, and Canada have taken to presuming that diversity is a moral issue and that to claim they are not diverse is to imply they are bigots; when in reality we are talking about diversity as a demographic issue.



The argument you are presenting is that a society can't have more than 2 of Freedom, Order and Diversity.

All you have demonstrated is that a fault line exists in the Canadian body politic. Actually goes towards there being real, functional diversity. For your professor's theory to be correct, the fault line would have to be insumontable and cause the disintigration of the society unless either order or freedom were restricted instead. Which is demonstratably not what has happened when a political crisis which played on the ethno-linguistic political fault line.

Now if your concept of diversity demands that there be zero animosity, even the mild one displayed by the jokes you are honing in on to prove your point, then that level of diversity wouldn't exist in any society, free or unfree, ordered or disordered. The test of diversity isn't lack of animosity, its whether you can co-exist and co-operate with oppression.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Zinegata » 2016-02-04 02:17am

Coop D'etat wrote:All you have demonstrated is that a fault line exists in the Canadian body politic. Actually goes towards there being real, functional diversity. For your professor's theory to be correct, the fault line would have to be insumontable and cause the disintigration of the society unless either order or freedom were restricted instead. Which is demonstratably not what has happened when a political crisis which played on the ethno-linguistic political fault line.


Except there isn't a fault line in the Canadian body politic. There is an overwhelming majority of English-speaking Canadians and a minority of French speaking Canadians. This isn't a fault line - this is a minor crack.

The bigger issue again is how big the segments are. If Canada was 50% French Canadian then you can claim it's an actual fault line. At 15% French Canadian you can't - the overwhelming majority can just push them along wherever they want to. It doesn't have to involve outright persecution mind you - but at the end of the day the French Canadians have to go along with the majority.

This is again the problem when discussing this model. People keep trying to make mountains out of demographic mole hills.

Now if your concept of diversity demands that there be zero animosity, even the mild one displayed by the jokes you are honing in on to prove your point, then that level of diversity wouldn't exist in any society, free or unfree, ordered or disordered. The test of diversity isn't lack of animosity, its whether you can co-exist and co-operate with oppression.


That's not demographic diversity. That is again trying to pretend that diversity is a test of your morality when you claim "diversity is being able to co-exist and co-operate".

Diversity is determined by numbers, not laws, feelings, or morality. You are not diverse if you have one overwhelming majority group. That the Anglo-Saxon world keeps thinking they are the same is the very reason why they can't understand why other nations keep having deadlock issues.

Iraq is diverse because it has two actual socieities within its borders that are roughly equal in numbers as the other. Whether or not they decide to stop shooting each other to resolve their differences doesn't make the country more or less diverse.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby Coop D'etat » 2016-02-04 02:41am

Zinegata wrote:
Coop D'etat wrote:All you have demonstrated is that a fault line exists in the Canadian body politic. Actually goes towards there being real, functional diversity. For your professor's theory to be correct, the fault line would have to be insumontable and cause the disintigration of the society unless either order or freedom were restricted instead. Which is demonstratably not what has happened when a political crisis which played on the ethno-linguistic political fault line.


Except there isn't a fault line in the Canadian body politic. There is an overwhelming majority of English-speaking Canadians and a minority of French speaking Canadians. This isn't a fault line - this is a minor crack.

The bigger issue again is how big the segments are. If Canada was 50% French Canadian then you can claim it's an actual fault line. At 15% French Canadian you can't - the overwhelming majority can just push them along wherever they want to. It doesn't have to involve outright persecution mind you - but at the end of the day the French Canadians have to go along with the majority.

This is again the problem when discussing this model. People keep trying to make mountains out of demographic mole hills.

Now if your concept of diversity demands that there be zero animosity, even the mild one displayed by the jokes you are honing in on to prove your point, then that level of diversity wouldn't exist in any society, free or unfree, ordered or disordered. The test of diversity isn't lack of animosity, its whether you can co-exist and co-operate with oppression.


That's not demographic diversity. That is again trying to pretend that diversity is a test of your morality when you claim "diversity is being able to co-exist and co-operate".

Diversity is determined by numbers, not laws, feelings, or morality. You are not diverse if you have one overwhelming majority group. That the Anglo-Saxon world keeps thinking they are the same is the very reason why they can't understand why other nations keep having deadlock issues.

Iraq is diverse because it has two actual socieities within its borders that are roughly equal in numbers as the other. Whether or not they decide to stop shooting each other to resolve their differences doesn't make the country more or less diverse.


If your diversity rule requires that the two sides be relatively equal in number I think you'd find less objection to the theory, but that is a rare case.

Canada is historically been about 1/3rd to 1/4th French, not 15% like you think. (has been in relative decline since the 1970s for birth rate demographic reasons but its), and the actual dominant culture of British Canadians has often been more of a plurality rather than an outright majority, relying on the regular assimilation of outsiders for growth.

Disregard the Kurds and the proportion of Sunni to Shia Iraqis is quite similar (Iraq being about 3/5ths Shia Arab, 1/5th Sunni Arab). The Sunni's are only comparable in numbers if you include the Kurds in their numbers, which is historically a simply laughable proposition. The population balance between Sunni and Shia Arab in Iraq isn't close to equal in the slightest.

Now, if you want to make the point that in polities with weak instutions and limited history of unification, the pick 2 of 3 rule is appropriate. Its a natural part of lacking the instutional and cultural capital to restrain the tensions. I'd also quite agree that its foolish to even try to get all three in an under-developed state. In the Iraq case, if you'd want to predict that the future is either dictatorship, partioning, or a federal state so loose that the central government barely exists, I'd also agree with you.

But that isn't what you were saying with your theory, you were saying that it is impossible to have all three simulaneously, regardless of the nature of the polity in question. If you want to suggest that the three will typically be in tension with each other, that is also a viable theory, but what you are suggesting is that reconciling the three is impossible, which I don't think holds water.

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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby madd0ct0r » 2016-02-04 03:18am

ooh yay, quote spagatteti!

Zinegata wrote:
madd0ct0r wrote:Xinegata, I'm really confused here. Do Sunni and Shia groups in Iraq use different languages? If no, how is that different to the Catholic/protestant split in the UK?Twenty years ago, religious divides in the UK were accompanied by bombing campaigns. Independence movements were accompanied by the burning of English holiday houses. Class warfare involved the police being set on strikers with riots and protests across the country. I can only assume that under your knowledgeable peer's theory that the UK was classed as diverse and free. What are we now that town centres aren't routinely blown up? The Welsh language used to be banned. Now it's required and political violence has decreased!


The UK is again not diverse and free. Never was. It was always Order-Free.

With the exception of Ireland, less than 10% of England, Scotland, and Wales was Catholic. Meanwhile Northern Ireland is 41% Catholic. Gee, I wonder what exactly was the hot bed of the pro-Catholic / anti-England movement. Oh right, it's Northern Ireland - right where there's an actual religious divide in addition to centuries-long one based on persecution.



Ok, so is Northern Ireland not part of the UK anymore? When did that happen? Seems to me you made an argument in ignorance and are trying to avoid the facts by pretending part of this country isn't. You also have not addressed the simultaneous decrease in welsh independence violence over the same time period, or the decrease in riots and protests driven by class warfare.
So. The UK(all of it) has become much more orderly. What changed? Is that change reflected in your model?


Zinegata wrote:
madd0ct0r wrote:What about Belgium? Split language, split culture. Didn't elect a government for over a year. Does that count as a break down in order in your silly simplistic system? I wonder if incidents of violence changed?


Actually, Belgium is very much Diversity-Freedom. The breakdown of the government shows precisely how they lost Order because the place was Free and Diverse.


AND YET, the hospitals kept running, tax was still collected, the police still arrested burglars. In terms of effect on the citizen, there was no breakdown in order at all. Which makes it a distinctly different case to Iraq and Poland, and one that your model dosen't answer.


Zinegata wrote:
madd0ct0r wrote:What about Nazi Germany? Hardly diverse, yet rather lacking in freedoms.


Actually, Nazi Germany was diverse - not ethnically but politically. The whole reason why the Nazis came to power was the struggle between communists and all the other political parties.

Diversity is again having many distinct and active societies within the nation. It is not just a racial issue.


Ah, so the Republic was diverse and broke down into an Order driven society. That at least works with your model, although you are now using politics as a second axis of diversity. So why is was your chief argument that the UK is not diverse was pointing at race? You had no discussion of different political parties. That's fine, it's not like we haven't had huge changes in the party political makep here in the last five years. oh wait. Lib Dems annihilated, a narrow vote on independence in scotland, current constitutional crisis between the tories, unions and wales, the rise of UKIP and so weiter.



Zinegata wrote:
madd0ct0r wrote:Oh. We see more breakdowns in the model. Perhaps it's not very good?

I don't see any breakdowns. Why don't you attempt to actually show how these break down in those countries, instead of posturing and listing countries that you seem to be rather ignorant of yourself; because you certainly haven't shown any actual example.


Well, If I gave no examples I'm buggered to know what you were replying to above. Or attempting to reply to, you haven't satisfied me the model holds for either Belgium or the UK (which still includes northern ireland, you political weasel)


Zinegata wrote:
madd0ct0r wrote:You see, I really dislike your model. I think it does not replicate reality. It oversimplifies and drops all solutions to social cohesion in a country that aren't 1) authoritarian state, 2) cultural genocide 3) tearing itself into less diverse chunks.
I can think of easy, violent examples for all three.

But I can think of plenty of exceptions. Which implies you have lost part of the big picture.


You haven't actually demonstrated those exceptions.


Well, you didn't actually answer all of my examples. You only answered one satisfactorily, and that was Nazi Germany.
so, Let's repeat:

>>What about South Africa?
In case it needs spelling out - South Africa has navigated have ingrained social inequality from the apartheid years to being a modern rainbow nation. Where is the breakdown in order? Where is the breakdown in freedom? Becuase I'm not seeing it.

>>What about India vs Bangladesh? One is hugely more diverse yet I wouldn't say they differ on order and freedom, would you?
I can't see how to spell that out more clearly.

>>Does it scale? Singapore is a country that fits the model, what about London? What about Mexico city?
(incidentally, if you are going to claim Northern Ireland as a distinct, diverse region, you REALLY need to be able to answer the above, as all those areas have much larger populations than Northern Ireland.)
In case it needs spelling out, London is hugely diverse, but not any different in terms of freedom/order to the rest of the uk, which you claim to be a freedom/order country

>>Does it scale? China is a country that fits the model, what about the EU?
In case it needs spelling out - the EU is a hugely diverse quasi-govermental union of a similar size to China. It's not an authoritarian state but I wouldn't say it less orderly then it's constituent countries either. Granted that includes Belgium :)
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Re: Why did Nation-building efforts failed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Postby madd0ct0r » 2016-02-04 03:44am

And something I forgot.

In a different post you were complaining about people taking diversity as a moral issue when you mean it as a demographic issue. As I have already said, my beef and most of the otgers is not with diversity as a moral issue, its that your model, quite purposefully ignores any solution to an existing diverse society that isnt authoritarian restrictions on freedom. That is a worrying stance that does not reflect reality. That Is why you and your over the dinner table fascist professor's model are being opposed so vehemently. We've seen it all before.
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