How is Democracy Impeded When Women Are Excluded From the Political and Economic Arena?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 20, 2008
Afghan Women Walk Home in Kabul, Afghanistan

Last week Secretary Rice marked International Women’s Day 2008 by presenting the International Women of Courage Award to eight women around the globe who have shown courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and advancement. The Secretary of State has said the enfranchisement of women is essential to global prosperity.

How is democracy impeded when women are excluded from the political and economic arena?

Comments

Comments

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 20, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

This is difficult.

Why? Because even here in the U.S. how long did it take and why did it take so long for the Womans Suffrage movement to be successful?

All religious applications and culture limitations must be overlooked first to even consider an answer. Laws predicated on culture which reflect the moiré of the society must also be changed or considered non viable. This is part of our problem in the Middle East which is well used for propaganda purposes. America is viewed as trying to alter their beliefs and traditions; therefore we are evil in nature.

In many cases there are economic issues to consider. The women do the factory work. Here in America we still have our own issues to deal with. Women do not earn the same as men in the same occupation. Is that right? Is that fair? Heck, is the issue of Gender even viable legally anymore?

Sadly, we do know that "All People are Created Equal in God's eyes." Unless you want to believe Men came first and thus women only are only allowable 49%.

It's too general a question for the world as it exists today.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
March 21, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

When women are excluded from the political and economic arena, democracy is impeded in the following ways:

  1. Diplomatic solutions are subordinated to military action.
  2. Domestic issues are subordinated to desires for international hegemony.
  3. Multi-lateralism is subordinated to unilateralism.
  4. Impulsive decisions are more prominent. Reasoned and
    thorough counsel is often lost.
  5. Exclusion of women from political and economic arenas ruins democratic sensitivity to issues of health, children,
    family, community and social services, women's healthcare issues, environmental and climate concerns, human and civil rights.....In terms of political and economic thematic
    focus, women are essential to human security in a democratic
    context.
Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 21, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

Good topic, I would say. Here in Pakistan we have not been behind in including women in all careers. In the Muslim world Pakistan was the first country to have a women Prime Minister, Late Benazir Bhutto. Now we have the first woman Speaker of the National Assembly (equivalent of U.S. House of Representatives). There are women flying the air force fighter planes and there are women in the army too. One thing that might surprise the western world is that in Pakistan women earn the same as men in the same occupation.

@ Joe in Tennessee -- This might sound surprising but it's one hundred percent true.

However, we still have a long way to go but we are definitely moving forward or should I say that women are successfully fighting to get their rights and that's good news.

John
|
Greece
March 21, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- Dear Joe,

I agree with you that there are some differences, but I think that the question should be answered in a more political-geographical-religious way and not exactly mathematical. You are right about the religion "boundaries" though.

What I mean?

Even if in the States or the rest of the western world women ...still- earn lesser than men in some cases, the role of western women, nowadays, is extremely strong and equal to men's.
For example, -I do not have the official numbers, let's do a hypothesis- even if the staff of SD consists of more men than women, the "very very last" calculation of this mathematical consideration is for sure EQUAL, since the Secretary of State is a very powerful, successful decision maker and WOMAN; in a service post that gives plenty of points 'since she has very strong decision/political power- to this calculation of equality. So, the women's role calculation is for sure EQUAL to men's in the SD hypothesis.

Another example to explain my thought:

Mrs. Hilary Clinton runs for the Presidency of the most powerful and democratic nation on earth. If she gets elected, we have no reason to count men and women in the next Administration, since the calculation is anyway EQUAL, due to the high post that a woman will have occupy. No matter the election result itself, a woman running for the Presidency is a democratic social Equality.

Moreover, there are jobs that men can do better and of course other jobs in which women are better than men or probably arithmetically more than men. For example, in the West, salaries and numbers of occupied positions are extremely different than we think when the story goes, let's say to cosmetics or fashion business. In this case the role of women is stronger than men's. That's why I think that we should not approach the theme in a cool blooded mathematical way that has to deal with salaries, job numbers, etc.

My opinion is that we have done a "great job" in the West concerning the issue. Of course, we can do better and we must fulfill the absolute "Equality requirements" by keep on becoming even better.

But, the question is what happens to the rest of the world?

I think that the very sophisticated DipNote bloggers' question is set on a base of more political and social perspective, concerning especially countries -- especially Muslim ones and ex-Soviet Democracies -- in which the role of women is socially excluded not only from politics and business, but also from Freedom.

.
|
Greece
March 21, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ NB in Pakistan -- I don't exactly know what happens in Pakistan concerning women's role, but I think you are a little bit over-optimistic. (e.g. The salary is equal?? Ok!, how many women work there compared to men?) This is the icon I have from TV News, documentaries, movies etc. Of course, I also see that, maybe, Pakistan is moving forward probably with a quicker step than other "Muslim countries" like Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Uzbekistan...

Unquestioningly guys, we all hope you to keep on stepping forward and it's nice for the Globe to watch you proceeding forward. Nobody wants a 2 speed (high-low) world.

Since you live there, and of course you have a more clear view than me, I would like you to give me the chance to ask your opinion about something more general. I totally agree with Tara Foley's view (http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entries/foley_women_saudi) that a woman has the right to wear an Abaya (ah-BUY-ah) or a hijab (head scarf), but she also has the right not to.

What is your opinion about this?

And, is it possible for a woman who is a native "Muslim country" citizen and chooses not to wear a hijab to have a business career? For example, how will the other women that wear hijabs will face her during a business meeting? Or, will they go shopping at her shop?

In other words, I think that your religious status automatically excludes women from the business arena or force them to play a false, non-honest role by making them to wear something many of them would not like to.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 21, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

@ John in Greece -- Yes John, I can give you guarantee that salaries are definitely equal for the same jobs that men do. I would, however, agree that not as many women in Pakistan work in offices as men. However, in the rural areas lots and lots of women work if not more than men and hijab (or Abaya) in rural areas is unheard of (I'm talking about Pakistan and not Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia). You might also find this interesting that there are several women business tycoons in Pakistan and many many women are running their own businesses, but again not as many as men. Hijab/Abaya in Pakistan is optional, it's purely a personal choice. I can assure you with full confidence that there's no compulsion on wearing hijab/abaya in Pakistan, except in some parts in the North of Pakistan and areas adjacent to Afghanistan, otherwise it's purely a personal choice and in urban areas perhaps less than 10 percent of girls/women wear hijab/abaya. No John, I guarantee you, there's no compulsion on wearing hijab/abaya in Pakistan and there are no restrictions on women taking up business careers. Once again John, I'm only talking about Pakistan. By the way, the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan is also a woman. Best Regards.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 22, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

It is not my place to speak for others. However I believe it essential that the following perspective be considered by DoS, and as such, I post this excerpt of a letter in solidarity with those seeking freedom.

--- "Mr. President, The "sham" reforms brought to us over the years by questionable individuals who are hoping only to save part of their backwarded ideology have proven themselves unworthy of the cultural traditions and precepts that Cyrus the Great founded Persia upon over 2500 years ago. Those ancient precepts regarding freedom of worship, individual right to own property, freedom from slavery, representative government in a democratic "federalist" government that respected the states rights to determine local laws so long as they were consistent with the inherent rights of the people, respecting territorial integrity in the process, have proven themselves over time and among many cultures.

These same sham reformers who have continued to allow the stoning of women, continued under the laws of the Islamic Republic regime to regard our women as worth exactly half that of a man in their courts, continued to deny our women their god given rights, disenfranchising half the population in the process in all aspects of their civil liberties. Nor can they be allowed to influence the future we seek. Those that have been party to the denial of human rights can not be tolerated as being any part or party to our political future. Nor partake (i.e. Nazi party-post WW2 not allowed), in any part of any new secular government chosen by the people, of the people, and for the people to initiate a U.S./UN monitored direct constitutional referendum mandated and ratified through the process of forming a new political structure and the rule of law which it must ascribe to.

Sir, It is the women, suffering under gender apartheid conditions, who represent a large part of the opposition, and will make a major contribution through their degree of knowledge, and political and civil maturity to the democratic and peaceful revolution we seek to manifest, as well as to a future democratic Iran. We cannot carry such baggage or the individuals who continue to deny women their place in society in this process of regaining our freedom and their equality in the process."

- The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI) Letter to President Bush ,January 27, 2005

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 24, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- As usual Eric has raised very valid points. However, I find it necessary to clarify at least two points.

1. Stoning women to death was condemned by Prophet Jesus son of Mary (Blessings upon them) and it was also condemned by Prophet Mohammad (Blessings upon him). Yes, Eric I can prove it.

2. Regarding women being worth half that of men in the courts of countries with majority Muslim populations, I have this much to say that last year in the National Assembly of Pakistan it was categorically decided that this applied only to witnesses in business contracts only and nothing else (and that to for valid reasons). It's there in black and white among the National Assembly documents.

Otherwise, I agree with you Eric, we still have a long way to go in giving women their rights, be it in economic, social, or political fields. I'm hopeful. By the way, Happy Easter to all.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 24, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Because even here in the U.S. how long did it take and why did it take so long for the Womans Suffrage movement to be successful? That is Geo-Political John, as what is the reference point of equality?

YOUR QUOTE: Even if in the States or the rest of the western world women ...still- earn lesser than men in some cases, the role of western women, nowadays, is extremely strong and equal to men's. END QUOTE. That is only true in a Geo Political manner with the reality of responsibility loads as raising children, etc. being equal within the household to employment.

This question is lacking reference points for any developmental conversation.

To set standards or a parameter there must be reference points of start. A premise, how do you simply develop a premise on an existing developing culture not oriented toward equality by both law and moral conviction? You cannot simply change the law to change the people. It creates civil unrest and is self destructive in pitting social structures within the country. It would be a created obsolescence.

The only validity would come in education. The female of most cultures are responsible for the development of the children. Change can only come about by generational development, starting from youth; but, if the infrastructure is not supportive for equality, it will have a negative impact on the society.

A prime example of development going wrong in an existing educated society: Russia. Free the people from governmental control for all aspects of life from employment to housing. The result was starvation, increased crime, civil unrest, etc. Forced Development of free enterprise led to more corruption, more unrest and a large inequality in all aspects of the civil population. This is what made the taking back of control by the State very simple via Nationalization. More people have more.

Yes, Ann Carlin was correct; you do need statistical analysis support for the creation of an infrastructure which is developmental in all aspects of social cultural changes. It is the only way to find the proper support functions for development.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 25, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ NB in Pakistan -- I don't believe that the letter speaks in general terms about Islam, but does with great specificity as to Iran's legal interpretation of Sharia law and the theocracy that is in political power there which enforces it.

A condemnation of a government's indifference to the human spirit. As well as the indifference shown to the noble history of a diverse peoples.

I could not draw comparison for the simple reason that Pakistan is a democracy in motion, where Iran suffers the stagnation of a failed government structure that no longer even attempts to hide its contempt for the will of its people.

NB, In my mind the Pakistani people are to be held in great respect for the composure in which they faced extraordinary circumstance.

Your system of government faced a severe test, and passed, not by our standards, but your own. That's what counts.

Not to say there isn't room for improvement, we have room to spare in this country too. That's why democracy is sometimes referred to as "the great experiment".

If you were to ask me if I believed in "Darwin's Theory of Political Evolution" (sic), I'd have to note that tyrany is in danger of becoming extinct globally within the next 10 years.

People will ultimately use what works and discard what does not.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 25, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- It's not very easy for me to think properly and type while on line. I should have added to my two clarifications that people/countries who hide behind religion to justify their cruelty towards women should not be allowed to use that excuse because the religion says just the opposite of what they practice. Therefore, I totally agree with you that such people/countries should be taken to task, and fortunately for the women of the world, the U.S. State Department is doing just that. One of my sisters lives in U.A.E. and she tells me that Ma'am Karen Hughes visits to the U.A.E. and her seminars related to encouraging women has helped a lot and the native women are now coming into businesses. So, I think I'm justified in saying: THANK YOU AMERICA!

And Joe in Tennessee, I fully support your view that what can be achieved through education cannot be achieved through making laws. Education brings about what in Britain is called the "common law". This is not in the statute books but as a result of proper education and awareness people force it upon themselves willingly as a law. Well stated Joe!

John
|
Greece
March 25, 2008

John in Greee writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- My best regards Joe.

Maybe it's my fault. Let me become a little more specific. I did not say that statistical analysis is useless. On the contrary, for sure it is the basis of science, every Thesis and of course the creation of an infrastructure. Our modern, civilized, scientific, Western world is based on statistics. You are absolutely right!

However, my urge, that we -the bloggers- should better not use a mathematical perspective concerning this issue, had to do with the probable platform of the question, as I, personally, took it for; when you have two very different "worlds" you better analyze and debate about the one part that needs more this analysis.

It's like the emergencies... when ONE doctor has to take care of TWO patients, he begins treating the one who is more seriously injured.

Although, I still believe that the West is doing great concerning equality.

That's why I suggested that we should focus our debate on Muslim World and ex-Soviet Democracies.

Of course, there is no doubt that you have every right to focus on what you, personally, think you should talk about.

P.S.: Can you please become a little more specific on this paragraph:

"A prime example of development going wrong in an existing educated society: Russia. Free the people from governmental control for all aspects of life from employment to housing. The result was starvation, increased crime, civil unrest, etc. Forced Development of free enterprise led to more corruption, more unrest and a large inequality in all aspects of the civil population. This is what made the taking back of control by the State very simple via Nationalization. More people have more."

Do you mean that governmental control ...especially as it was during the old Soviet -- was better than "Putin's" so-called non governmental control? Or vise versa?

Because I think that we have to deal with the SAME exactly system. Nothing changed there... except the Mafia (ex-left wing party) that became stronger and more globalized.

Gregory
|
Israel
March 25, 2008

Gregory in Israel writes:

Was U.S.A. non-democratic state in 19 century? Never heard. And in 19 century's U.S.A. women were kept away from the political and economic arena!

Keep women away from these two bad arenas, don't worry. It will not impact your democratic character :-)).

John
|
Greece
March 25, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Gregory in Israel -- Gregory, either you are old fashioned or... in love!

However, you made me laugh, because sometimes, I have also tried to make this little voice inside of me, inside of my hidden chauvinistic "man" ego, scream: "This is a man's world."

But, it's not like this.

According to my knowledge women are absolutely equal to men in Israel. They service in the army, they vote? They have every right.

What happens with you?
(let me humor) did you "crashed and burned" by a beautiful woman recently?

Concerning 19th century U.S.A. history, women had always an extremely important role in the society. They maybe did not had a strong presence in politics and economy back then, but they played the most important role ...a role needed by the historical conditions: They created and were responsible for the American Family- the first amendment of healthy societies. And of course, men always respected women in the New World. At that time, THIS was vital -- politically and economically -- for the creation of the States.

During this historical procedure to now, they ...AMERICAN WOMEN- developed the Women's Movement for Equality and the most important they shared this humanitarian right and principle to the rest of the Globe making women all over the world to fight for their rights too.

And, today, after so many fights they gave, they play an important role -- equal to men's -- both in politics and economy.

(No irony, just humor) Was she beautiful?

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 26, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

"A prime example of development going wrong in an existing educated society: Russia. Free the people from governmental control for all aspects of life from employment to housing. The result was starvation, increased crime, civil unrest, etc. Forced Development of free enterprise led to more corruption, more unrest and a large inequality in all aspects of the civil population. This is what made the taking back of control by the State very simple via Nationalization. More people have more."

The above statement comes from the perspective that the United States and the rest of the free world felt the removal of communism would result in a democratic and free Russia. Given the conditions at the time, it was felt that Capitalism and new money could restructure an existing social environment and thus enhance a new political environment.

Every Chair person from the CATO Institute to Brookings and the World Bank felt it would be at least 2025 before Russia would even hold its head above water premised on all existing statistics. However, due to a lack of a better infrastructure to replace the existing one which would support a better representation of equality in a time frame more relevant to take up the slack of lost jobs and changes of governmental ideology, it became a chaotic environment. Those who had more ended up with even more and were first in line to benefit. This resulted in effectively turning the existing major civilian population base against the democratic ideology of free enterprise without restriction, simply because the majority could not share in it. They may have had less with communism, but they did have jobs, the children did have education and health care. The best analogy I can think of is: Imagine freeing an entire Prison population the size of Russia and having no support mechanisms in place. This element alone and the resulting chaos made it easy for the State to regain control of everything from Banks, energy and communications to military hardware production. Mother Russia put Russia back on the map and the taste of Capitalism was tainted from the onset and probably with intent. We now face polarization again and the Nationalization of Russia is now with a sense of pride. Putin took the reigns and made a seemingly better Russia for all.

Putin is without doubt one of the most intelligent, long range leaders in modern history. His love of Country is not only sincere, but his only priority, from the time he was in the KGB as a officer and recognized the falling of the wall as only a step toward a better, stronger Mother Russia. Do not think it wasnãt planned. The facts do openly speak for themselves. Just think: Without firing a shot Putin single handedly let the vanity and greed of his old enemies refinance and help him restructure his country without any cost on Russiaãs part. From technology to cost effective management systems, it cost Russia nothing to rebuild.It was possible because we did not put in proper infastructure mechinisms to replace what was in existence.

While I know that statistics are valuable and relevant, the largest social need impute we devalue in decision making comes in overestimating the value of a dollar placement over basic ideologic needs of the people many times. This seems mostly due to supposition of transposing our value system to an existing one or pre supposition of our understanding of a different culture. We seem to forget that existing Nationalism is as relevant as religion and we fail to either develop nationalism where it is non existent or do not recognize that any change to existing systems within any country infringes on the peoples recognition of their relationship of Nationalism.

Remember how both Partyãs in Congress held hands after 9-11? Now how do the parties stand? One party did not even acknowledge the Presidents State of the Union address. While that is normal in America, it would not be considered Nationalism in many older cultures. In cultures like Russia the People stand together or not at all, be it by force or otherwise is irrelevant. It is tradition.

America is about Change and evolution. Our culture is actually still in development and the beauty of our democratic system is that we will forever evolve, God willing. I do find fault when our leaders do not recognize that a ship must row in the same direction. What we do does affect the view of other developing countries of our system of government... A divided house is used against us in our long range plans in times such as this. It gives control back to your enemy.

Hope that covers it. The last part simply observance and personal opinion.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 26, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Yes Eric, there's always room for improvement and we, in Pakistan, are just in the infant stage and a lot needs to be done, especially in the face of constant threat of terrorism. Now parents spend their day as nervous wrecks praying for their children to come home from school safe and sound. Wives spend their day in tension praying for their husbands and children for their parents. But we have to go on and keep our struggle going for a peaceful world where all men, women, & children can live in peace and harmony enjoy their full rights. Best Regards.

Dave
|
New York, USA
March 26, 2008

Dave in New York writes:

How can the State Department talk about womens rights in the world when they blindly support UNICEF and The Hague Treaty on International Adoption, which absolutely supports the notion that the wife is a total servant in these countries to her husband, brother or father with respect to any decisions about her family? Why is the State Department so bent on ending international adoption by U.S. families as an option to these women and the children that they admittedly are not equipped to care for at times?

John
|
Greece
March 27, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- I think that we are out of the subject (question), but this is is what I love in DipNote. We fly!

Joe in Tennessee writes: "Putin is without doubt one of the most intelligent, long range leaders in modern history. His love of Country is not only sincere, but his only priority, from the time he was in the KGB as a officer and recognized the falling of the wall as only a step toward a better, stronger Mother Russia. Do not think it wasn't planned. The facts do openly speak for themselves. Just think: Without firing a shot Putin single handedly let the vanity and greed of his old enemies refinance and help him restructure his country without any cost on Russia's part. From technology to cost effective management systems, it cost Russia nothing to rebuild. It was possible because we did not put in proper infastructure mechinisms to replace what was in existence."

Dear Joe, I will just comment only on this paragraph of yours, because if I "engage" in your overall post it will take months of discussion.

Simplicity!

Do you really believe these things you write?

Putin is intelligent? Why?

I think that G.W. Bush and G. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Clinton are far more intelligent and they love their country ...the U.S., but also the rest of the Globe -- more than Putin pretends he loves "Russia mother."

And this counts also for all the politicians and simple people who wrote the "Soviet" End. Because if they didn't have done this maybe the West would be in the same position like today's Russia, plus the ex-Soviet Democracies. And our children ...OUR CHILDREN -- would be sexually abused today by the Global trafficking system that is ruled by those "unexpected talents" that you mention: ex-KGBs.

These are not games or free discussions over coffee breaks. These are wars -- and we did not start the fire.

I really strongly disagree with you. You blame the West, you blame us, for not having proper infrastructure mechanisms to replace what was in existence there?

This is crazy.

Soviets did not have proper infrastructure mechanisms to keep their so-called Empire and we should have taken care of building mechanisms to make their lives better after the "fall"?

By the way, you think they... had.

They had nothing at all.

They had a myth. They did not have jobs, but party obligations, they did not have lives, they did not have Freedom, but the most important, they did not have human dignity.

The only "regime lovers" that "Mr" Putin worked for, were a small party membership brotherhood with amenities that were provided only to this 1% of the KGB or the party brotherhood members. Not the people.

You think that they had ...KGB -- scheduled the falling of the Wall?

Sure!

Ask the people in East Germany, Moldavia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Czech...

They will tell you the truth: They didn't like the Russians! They hated the Russians and still do.

That's why the "Wall" became ex-Wall, because they were not ONE Nation like America. They did not have a democratic platform to make people live under one God: loving one another and creating for ALL.

Putin is intelligent because he knows Karate?

Thousands of people in Langley, VA, know karate, they are boxing great, they shoot better and the most important, they use their brains even better than the ex-KGB-mafias.

Putin is sincere?

That's it. I will cry now.

They only thing Putin has attempted is to monopolize Europeãs energy.

He won't.

He has every right to sell his gas and oil etc, but he will soon take the message that this right have it all.

Even if I accept your thought that ...From technology to cost effective management systems, it cost Russia nothing to rebuild... I have to admit that "easy come ...easy go!"

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 27, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

As a father to two daughters that stop traffic unintentionally(sic), I can attest to the fact that girls just want to have fun, and proud to say that they have my blessing to be whatever they believe their potential to be.

Best investment I ever made was in a box of 128 crayons and some art paper long ago. Lucky dad gets to see his oldest graduate from art school that both won full merit scholarships to.

I do not believe that this is an "only in America" type circumstance, for I think the basis of a solution to forming societies in which a people reach full potential ( rather than repressing half the population's potential for reaching it) is through the fathers and mothers of the world to insist on creating a better envirionment for their children to thrive in than they had faced growing up.

I believe if parents invest in the human potential globally, hopefully our children will become smarter than we are. I call this progress.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 27, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

This will only address John, concerning Russia and Putin.

1. I made no comparisons to just the USA or any other leader as being inferior. In fact overall, our system of politics often limits our long range plans due to leadership changes. It is not the Intelligence community which fails us; but past restraint of it.

2. If you follow Putins path, you will see a direct coordination of events which is by any Intelligence standard self speaking. The Economic standards are also self evident, from the day Putin put in place his old associates. Where are you in the depth of his profiles?

3. I will not comment on Ragan, but do admire Nixon, GH and GW. The only problem with GW is the cards of past administrations were on the table and he has had to commit to a patchwork a semblance of continuity. I just had a negative response this AM regarding his speech with a Preacher, who has demonized Bush as they did Clinton and he is the second one who I know who has done so. Donãt confuse fact with personal ideology.

4. Putin is intelligent. Where is his country sitting fiscally? The overall condition of his people is where now in comparison to what it was at the falling of the wall and when he took over office? Why? Is he more intelligent then our Presidents? How could you know? None of them has had the control functions Putin had to work with through out his years. Putins overall objectives are easier to reach, but intellect is premised on what is accomplished, not what any individual may possess. Our Leaderships, due to its very nature of democratic representation, is limited in scope. . The Father of a Country feeds his own family first. Our Congress has limited that since 1978 when they started adding riders on bills for free trade. You can't compete where this is no work, you can't keep printing money which has no backing. How is that intelligent? How intelligent is it to give billions to North Korea for them to continue building military hardware? Clinton tried to buy peace. South America loves him because he gave them tens of millions and more yearly for Narcotics via the DEA and the FARC developed. Where there was no drop in production, GW stopped it. Columbian drug lords were replaced by Mexican ones. MS 13 easily entered this country during Clintons administration. The Mexican cabinet that was caught laundering narcotic monies by our DEA and FBI had the trial dropped by executive order of Clinton under the pretext of National Security issues. Greenspan gave the answer in a Senate meeting: If we take all the illegal funds out of third world countries who are friendly toward American interest, they would collapse. Clinton called off the hit on Osama, when he was cornered. Is any of that in our National Interest? Is that Nationalism? Carter sold out the American farmer and gave away much of our National Security Policies which had to be corrected latter. Japan became the largest corporate Farm land owner during his administration. Was that American? He is now doing what he should have done. GH was without doubt the last true Americanãthat was and is an intelligent manãGW was dealt an unfortunate hand and is playing as best he can with the limited resources he now has. Yes, GW is intelligent. Nixon was even more Patriotic...he didn't make millions buying a Baseball team on adjusted State laws. The fact Nixon let himself be the sponge for the party says it all.

PART 2 COMMING UP...

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 27, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

PART 2

5. No, our leadership is far and away from the Common Man today in the Congress and Senate. We are being hurt by our separation of powers. That is self evident by the simplicity of the banking crisis. It is who we neglect in much of our policies overseas as well in propaganda and psychological ends. If we cannot keep Food, Clothing, Housing, Health care and work for our own people -- how intelligent is that? Its not rocket science. It's not just a job to be a Representative of the American People; it is an honor to work for their best interest daily. Buchannan had a little note on the head of his desk when he was Secretary of Labor: "How many jobs did I create today, how many did I save." What happened to that ideology? Even Heinz felt the same.

6. Do I believe what I write: I am the young man who sat outside the White house office at 2am after coming back from Russia with a report over two decades ago. This young man is now in his 50s. If Thomas had not been in town, I may not be here today and those are his words exactly. That is the shame of the vainity of leadership at the time. The answer is emphatically: YES-- it caused a lot of problems.

By the way John, if you drop back a bit, we are in the same position as Russia was...we are seen Internationally as a military power, though it is not true. Our money is not backed by anything other than debut, false consumerism and International oil purchase. What is the standard of the value of the American dollar in reality, what is it tangibly backed by? Our National Debut is supposed to be like: owing a trillion is like having ten trillion? If Russia and China were to coordinate efforts using the Euro dollar, we would have nothing but our Military. But then, we are intelligent enough to have our National Debut owned two thirds by them, so they will not and you call that intelligent and outstanding leadership? Where do you find intelligent leadership in any of that? Veterns who have no home, families living on the streets, people who worked all their life and cannot keep their homes, State and Federally controlled banking laws which supports lending money at a rate exceeding organized crime interest, States dependent on Lotteries for education, prisons now filled with Adult Americas because there is no decent paying jobs: Gosh man, that sounds like Russia long ago.-- where is any of this LEADERSHIP and Patriotism for America? We do have more millionaires nowãbut where is the Common Man in any of those figures? To be in servitude to them? That's individual interest, not the American citizens interest. Not We The People.

What is your idea of leadership, going backwards or forward? Which way has Russia gone since Putin took office?

You are correct, it is simple.

I think Randolph Hurst made the best statement on patriotism as it exists in America today: "Even a Politician becomes a Patriot when his job is on the line." That is also self evident. Then when we have one like GW, he is demonized...go figure.

Yes we are out of context, but write me...this site knows where I'm at.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 28, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Hey Joe, I know a lot of folks take a Bush-centric approach to the blame America game, but I can't say as I'm in favor of taking a Putin-centric approach to the world's ills either.

Sorry, but it's totally beyond the ability of one man or one nation to screw up what already is and has been for decades, nor put the dysfunctionality of nations to rights in the present all by their lonesome selves.

This is not to say influence is non existant

Personally, I'd suggest to Mr. Putin that feeding people globally is probably more in league with "Super Power" status than arming folks with AK47's ever will be.

That said, while I'm not sure the checks and balances work in the Russian government, they do in the U.S. like a marriage, "for better or worse".

Boils down to individuals doing their jobs well to implement coherent policy, and all that entails.

Let me give you an example:

Few years ago I ran across an Amnesty Int. article just released on the imminent execution by stoning of several Iranian women. In 5 days to be exact.

Long story short, I called Dept of State, got a live human who gave me an email address to send the article to, and received this message in less than 30 minutes.

"This information has been sent through immediately to the Iran Security Desk for further action. Ian Gray"

Joe, it is as dangerous to believe the small slice of the pie one perceives of the past experience is applicable to everything today as much as it is dangerous for the government to believe it is the know all see all end all to intelligence gathering and fail to gather public input.

Ian did his job well, and earned this citizen's thanks. International pressure was applied successfully.

Remember Joe, they work for us.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 28, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

You are misunderstanding the specific nature of world powers. It was called the Great Game for a reason Eric.

Putin and China used our strengths and weakness's to put us where we are today. America's wonderful charitable natures combined with the better to worse dynamics of our system have been utilized against us. This is what Nixon circumvented. History is valuable and definitely supports all I have stated as well as all which was sent up the wire.

I will make a quote which very relevant in understanding what has occurred: Any conflict can be resolved as long as the party or parties promoting the conflict do not remain hidden. Not much more be stated.

To answer the following quote:
1.Personally, I'd suggest to Mr. Putin that feeding people globally is probably more in league with "Super Power" status than arming folks with AK47's ever will be.

If that were true Eric, why did Bagdad fall decades ago? Every person had the ability to educate, house, feed and develop more productively; yet, chose a bullet over putting food on the table. The only food which was necessary was the food to change ideology and we were then nor now not in a position to accomplish that miracle. It is what is missing from our over all agenda. Bagdad is only one of many examples.

Eric, I worked for you via other agencies; but, I experenced first hand how Politics and personal vanity circumvented the very foundation of our National Security Interest. I am sure it is not much different in Russia, but that is the point, we are not supposed to be Russian are we?

Economically, would you accept monopoly monies from a senior citizen to pay for their groceries? Why not? You would not because you cannot purchase goods or services with it. It is not solvent. What if they said their family would protect you, they would provide a mechanic to work on your car for free, a family member to clean your home, etc? So, the American Economic system is basically now no more than a barter system of global economics. What happens when your Allies don't need your protection or services? Our only playing card is the word Democracy. How do you play that card when you can not even support the citizenship you have?

On intellect: If we are so intelligent, why did the sum total of all our Congress and Senate leave America in Crisis? Not any President. Even the petrol problem is a created one that does have solutions which could have been continued from the 70s when they implemented a variety of leglislation from tax incentivies for new energy sources to insulation tax write offs for homes. It is the Congress and Senate who took off those developmental methods. They work for US? Suddenly they have had to come up with commercials to say: The new problems will create more jobs. What about that even sounds normal, much less accurate? Why should there be a crisis before we adjust? It is because of the very nature of our diversity. It is one of the short commings well anticipated by others. We do have very smart people, but they put the business of doing business in DC, personal and party interest before National interest. That too is self evident. Too many leaders can be detriment when the overall objective of Servitude to citizenship is neglected or put last. Families sleeping on the streets of America and a Leadership which wants the churches to take up the slack while at the same time throwing God out of our Legal and Federal system? Tell me again how that represents us or even makes any sense. America isnãt about the public being sheep or cows for slaughter by our leadership is it?

And John, I hope you are not the alcoholic DoS I met years ago in South America, karate is not Putins martial art as I recall, it's Tai Kwan Do... while he was fast, his weight was problematic in sparing. How do I know that?...his ego is well earned by the way.

On the subject matter, I know this is not a DoS blog because not one person used Liberia as a current example of women and the productive effect on third world developing countries, nor the psychological stigma of using a Mother/maternal imagery in politics.

For better or worse, we are still have more freedoms and I could not think of a better place to reside; but, we have problems let go all too long now because the leadership is too far from ground zero at the roots level, not the Presidency. It is God bless America...throw the concept of God out, throw the blessings out. That too has been self evident...

John
|
Greece
March 28, 2008

John in Greece writes:

Joe, thank you very much for your reply, especially for the one that you addressed to me personally. I really thank you for the time you spent posting back.

I have to admit, that I'm not playing God. I do not know everything and I do not have the political science and history background to comment on all these very interesting comments of yours. That's why I suggest the whole group here to comment also on your thoughts as long as they know the issues you are referring to, although I suspect from your words that you might have been a career analyst ("I am the young man who sat outside the White house office at 2am after coming back from Russia with a report over two decades ago") and in that case you need also an expert to answer you back. But in that case I am not sure if this is the appropriate forum for an even deeper "Dipnote" that will contain inside or classified info.

Nevertheless, I feel the need to discuss with you and all some general things that you also say. I will try to post my views and questions during the weekend. Best Regards, have a nice weekend.

.

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