Now I know this is apparently very onesided and other people could see things exactly the opposite way but…
if the US ands its allies are fucking up Iraq by their actions then surely it is the only country where the despot “ruler” lives overseas. Like the locals have no power over anything and GWB can do whatever he feels like - the Iraqis can’t stop him nor can the American people.
Has this kind of situation existed before since the end of the British Empire?
I’m trying to decide whether to put this in GQ or GD. Absent any prolonged quibbling over use of the term “despot,” it might have a factual answer, so I’ll put it in GQ. The GQ mods can move it if the thread turns to debate.
However, there is ample precedent for one country controlling the affairs of another country: Japan established Manchuguo in Manchuria as a puppet state in the early 1930s (can’t remember the exact year), the Soviet Union controlled Eastern Europe during the Cold War as basically a suzerain, Turkey basically runs Northern Cyprus for the last few decades, and so on. It’s not a rare phenomenon in international relations.
Why focus only on Iraq? GWB could do the same thing in Canada. What’s to stop him? The fact that he doesn’t take “any arbitrary action that catches his fancy” in either Iraq or Canada should make you go back and check your premise(s).
The US, as the most powerful country in the world, could wipe out any other country, assassinate any politician, or annex any territory we felt like. What stops us?
How do you think countries like Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia got started? There are lots of examples throughout history of one country completely controlling another. During the European colonial period a LOT of countries were completely controlled by European powers exploiting over seas nations.
What you are groping for here is something called a puppet state.
(BTW, your OP/example kind of show a bit of prejudice. Look up sometime what the Europeans did during the colonial period and then go back and take a fresh look at Iraq…and you will notice some key differences.)
Let’s try to answer the question rather than making reflexive attacks at anyone who suggests that the president is less than a shining hero.
Ever since WWII, despite the movement toward nominal independence for virtually every nation-state or ethnic enclave on earth, the word nominal has been prime.
The USSR took over eastern Europe after the war and every government thereafter until Communism’s fall in 1989 was de facto a puppet government. Rebellion meant an incursion of Soviet tanks. The difference between these governments - which were often elected - and Iraq’s forms a very hazy line at best.
Similarly, China has had influence over a number of governments in Asia, from North Korea to North Viet Nam, of varying degrees.
On the western side, Britain did not cease to have de facto power over the Middle East through its oil interests until OPEC formed in the 1970s. The Suez War in 1957 is one major example.
The U.S. has often decided what governments should be in place in other countries. Many people argue that putting in Shah Reza Pahlavi in place of a democratically-elected government in 1953 in the direct cause of all our Middle Eastern problems today.
We also changed governments in Chile, Panama, and several other countries.
And there is no question that we had at least as much power over South Viet Nam during the war there as we do over Iraq today, and that means in both cases that we do essentially control the country because absolutely nothing that goes directly counter to our interests will be allowed.
There has never not been a time since WWII when countries with nominal independent governments have been effectively controlled from afar.
People may not like the term despot and I will admit it is a bad word choice. However, the situation we find ourselves in Iraq is not new and cannot be called anything but outside control. We’ve done it before and we’ll undoubtedly do it again.
All you need do is ask what would happen if the supposedly sovereign government of Iraq voted to expel all U.S. troops tomorrow.
I mean, c’mon, Iraq wasn’t even allowed to expel Blackwater.
China absorbed Tibet and declared it to be part of the country of China. The Chinese government is in control. There is no Tibetan government, unless you want to say that it is in exile, which of course some people do.
In any case, there is no similarity between that physical takeover of a country and Iraq.