What would be the best form of Government for a Post Saddam Iraq?


This link seems to indicate that the US is set in establishing a US administrator in the aftermath of this war. I have no problems with that so long as this interim administration quickly establishes an Iraqi govt made up of Iraqi citizens and that the govt looks out for the wellbeing and prosperity of the Iraqi people. The interim administration should leave as soon as the Iraqi govt is stable. I have no problems with the British and Australians helping in this endeavour as well.

Having said that, I seem to get the feeling that a democratic system of govt isnt exactly the best form of govt for the Iraqi people. Given the 3 decades of dictatorship, the belief of Muslims in a theocracy, the underlying suspicions of a puppet regime mimicing the US form of govt against the will of the people and that there isnt any framework to imppliment a voting procedure among tribes hell that hate each other, what would be an effective form of govt for Iraq?(without saddam)

Im throwing this in for discussion and mind you I am not a political scientist or analyst. I am just curious and want to explore the ideas. Bitchslap me if I get these wrong.

Democratic systems:

Congress, Executive and judicial Branches. USA type

Parlamentary Form. British Type

Non Democratic Systems:

Theocracy. Mullahs and clerics adjudicate civil and religious matters

…I dont think any of these would be entertained:
Benevolent Dictatorship
Aristocracy …did modern Iraq ever have a King like Saudi Arabia did?

What do you guys think?

a benevolent dictatorship is a monarchy

a monarchy instead of aristocracy…

democracy has the best chance of working overall, because each ethnic group will be represented, and no one will be left out.

I don’t think we really know what’s capable of working anytime soon. Establishing a viable democracy of any sort would be a long-term project requiring lots of nurturing, which means we’d have to stay for quite awhile. And I agree that staying awhile creates its own set of dangers that we’d rather avoid. It doesn’t really work well either way.

But we knew that going in, and went in anyway.

I think you’re overgenerallizing by saying Muslims favor theocracy.

At any rate, I think the best bet is for us to get a democratic gov’t in place more or less along the lines of the US. We don’t know how to impliment any other system. Installing a king would be an insult to every soldier who fought in this war. Make sure the various regions have their say in Congress, and give them as much autonomy as possible w/o encouraging break-away republics being formed. Do the best job possible to ensure that one faction cannot gain so much power as to oppress the other factions. Piece of cake, right?

Why don’t we drop something in place like we did in Afghanistan. A democratic puppet without real power. Seems to work well within the lines of US nation building theory.

Democracy Pros:

*Easy to install. Working model could either come from the British parliamentry like most of the secular govts around Iraq using miniters as representatives OR it could be a congressional model using a chosen electorate from each village. The numebr of representatives proportional to the population density of the area of origin.
*Good judge of the will of the people.
*US, British and Australian interim administrators can easily train new system to Iraqi elected officials.

Democracy Cons:

*There will be anarchy when newly elected representatives cant agree on anything.
*Iraqi People may be mistrustfull of those with so much power especially when compromises have to be made.
*Still need a president. Looks waaay too much like the USA not to be called a puppet.

Theocracy Pros:

*Iraq has a Shiite Majority and very fundamentalistic about Islam. There is no separation of Church and State in Islamic teachings.
*Being sensitive to religious freedom will garner more support from the Iraqis and the Muslim neighbors.

Theocracy Cons:

*Too close to Iran not to be influenced by radical fundamentalists who happen to be already anti-american.
*Islamic teachings run counter to progressive plans that need to be implimented to get Iraq back on its feet, politically, financially and nationalistically.
*Dont know of any theocratic govt that is proseperous, open to trade and not anti-american.
*Interim administrators are christian and ignorant of islamic and arab culture.
*How will theocratic doctrines treat the possibility of coalition troops based on Muslim land?

One chosen by the Iraqi people, without any sort of intereference or control from the United States. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen, though.

Well, Rjung, what if the Iraqi people decided they wanted The Baath party back? Would that be the best form of governemnt for them?

So if the majority Shiites voted in a system enslaving the minority Sunnis, that would be acceptable to you? Methinks thou must define the word “chosen” a little bit more clearly.

If we’re serious about upholding the ideals of democracy and people selecting a government of their choice, then yeah. Otherwise it’s democracy with footnotes (“You can vote for any candidate you want – as long as it’s someone we approve of”), which isn’t democracy at all.

Iraq was a monarchy, led by I think King Hussein of Jordan’s brother or uncle or something until 1958…

“In July 1958, when Iraq’s pro-American monarchy was overthrown by General Abdel Karem Kaseem, with local communist support. Also, disturbances in Lebanon led to the US invoking the Eisenhower doctrine, and landing Marines. The British landed troops in Jordan. A possible intervention in favor of pro-Western forces in Iraq? This pro-Western call for help never came, because Kaseem consolidated his control in Iraq”

cited from: http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/history/muhlberger/2805/arabnat.htm (my Islamic Civ hist prof)

Why do they need a president? You could just have a prime minister with no more power than any other member of parliament, other than possibly appointing ministers. If you want to minimise the amount of political power any one person can have, this would be a better option in my opinion.

To me, the two biggest drawbacks with implementing a democratic system seem to be that a people who were just bombed would tend to have a very negative view of the ones who bombed them, and would vote accordingly. A crippling 10-year trade embargo prior to that doesn’t help either. This might get better if elections aren’t held until after the US/UK/UN have had time to regain some trust by rebuilding the country. On the other hand, the longer you wait before elections, the more it’ll will seem like it won’t happen and that Iraq will remain under western rule indefinitely. It won’t be easy to find the optimal time to minimise public animosity.

The other drawback is that Iraq has a 60% Shiite majority that has been disenfranchised under Saddam’s regime. As Fang pointed out they could use this opportunity to get back at the Sunni. If a constitution was put in place that guaranteed certain rights and laws, where you’d need a qualified majority of say 2/3 to make any changes or ammendments, that could help. Iraq has been a fairly secular state for a long time, I doubt all the Sunni would band together in a fundamentalist religious party, and even if they did, they would not have the numbers to make constitutional changes without support from other ethnic groups.

In a 60 Minutes II segment last night, the article reveals a ghost govt alread formed by Iraqi-Americans hand selected by Paul Wolfowitz to be used as an interim govt before elections. Chalabi who left Iraq in 1958 would be the provisional head of this govt. There are already ministries already set up and ready to go as soon as the military say its safe. (theres even a ministry of Tourism…talk about chutzpah) This is separate from the temporary administration lead by former general Garner. I cant give a cite since I would have to pay and wait for a transcript. :frowning:

Here is a link about the debate of installing this shadow govt and what Colin Powells camp says about it:


I think a loosely federated central government organized along parlimentary lines with Islam as the acknowledged state religion would be the way to go. I think we should keep the Sunni/Shia/Kurdish regions largely autonomous and self governing in most matters with a relatively weak central government and small highly unified and trained military. I think we should acknowledge the groundswell of Islamic fundamentalism and work to head it off and funnel it into a more moderate government sanctioned form by appointing those moderate mullahs to official positions.

Bush is planning for a compliant kleptocracy headed by a white-collar bank robber turned necon-pet Iraqi liberation spokesman named Ahmed Chalabi, sez The Washington Times of all people:

We literally could not do any worse short of continuing the torture system, and how sure are we of that once Chalabi is found to be unable to hold power otherwise?

well daamn skippy… this dont bode too well. :frowning:

I feel that regardless of what governmental system is set up, it is absolutely vital to set up a free-market capitalist system in Iraq; moreover, if such a system can take hold, I feel that a future Iraqi capitalism will serve as the new paradigm for Middle Eastern countries. It will show them that they, too, can thrive financially. I mean, hell, they’re gonna have to stop being the world’s oil brokers eventually.

Is the embracing of capitalism likely? Good question. It seems as though people are more concerned with spreading democracy to the whole world, within which capitalism surely flourishes, and are less concerned with the economics of the situation. Also, aren’t Western-style economies hated even more than other Western customs amongst Arabs? You’ll have to correct me if I’m wrong, I chose to be fairly Americentric in my economics electives in college. It seems as if we all just thought of things on an economic basis, leaving religious morals and tradition within the houses of worship, we’d all get along a lot better.

I think the key to aclimating the Iraqis to a free market economy and democratic elections is to do it at the speed that the Iraqis can handle. One of the reasons that the Shah of Iran was deposed was he endevoured too enthusiastically to modernize Iran againts his peoples religious objections. Iraq’s oil gives them great power internationally. It would be better for all involved to train Iraq to handle that power responsibly. I think its alright if they dont import Playboy, bikinis or have MTV beamed into every household and a restricted form of internet would be a a good beginning.

Part of democracy is accepting that the voting public will make mistakes.

If the Iraqis won’t be allowed to decide for themselves who will lead them, then let’s accept that the plan is for Iraq to be a colony, not a sovereign nation.

The notion that the new Iraqi government will be anything but an American puppet is laughable. Imagine this; a new government is duly elected with consent of the people. The new President, Ali Al-Newguy, is a moderate and decent man who supports the rule of law and freedom and peace. His first announcement is that, because of the overwhelming demand of his people, the United States and its corporate interests are to be asked to leave immediately, and France and French corporations will rebuild Iraq. Do you think Bush would ever allow this?

Is the fact that Islam has a very old tradition of democracy. It’s called the Shura. That is how the first four successors to the Prophet were chosen, as no system of government was included in the Qur’an or Sunna. Afterwards, it was a case of various warring dynasties, just like any monarchy of the time.

Sure, only men of a particular social status could vote, but whaddya want from 14 centuries ago?

I think that a form of representative democracy could be sold to the Iraqis as a continuation of some of the oldest traditions of our faith. Not to mention Pre-Islamic Arabic culture, where the tradition originated.

Strangely enough, Democracy and Theocracy could be somewhat compatable.