TEN MILLION PURPLE FINGERS are now recognizably IRAQI, not Shia, or Kurd, or Sunni, as a heavy turnout of VOTERS amazingly emerged from these and other ethnic and religious MINORITIES in Iraq during the elections. This emerging Iraqi electorate, this Democratic Iraq, is a most important vanguard in a Democratic Revolution for the Middle East that cannot be reversed without ultimately horrific consequences for our countries and our consciences. Not after what we were willing to do, not after what has, is and will be sacrificed for its ultimate attainment, by ordinary men and women, soldiers and civilians, kings and Presidents, Iraqis, Americans, Englishmen, Australians, Filipinos, and all those who join in DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION against the past in all Nations and Empires. It is the red blood of HUMAN BEINGS that waters a purple flower that grows in Babylon.
RECONSTRUCTION: I would submit that IRAQ, after Gulf War II, is a project like Japan and Germany after World War II. In the 20th Century, what America did for Asia in democratizing a Militarist Japan, and for Europe in democratizing Nazi Germany, was not just a defeat for Fascism, it was the basis for the grandest possibilities of the 21st century. A democratic revolution can OVERTHROW the brutal dictatorships and ignoble autarkies that are the rule in the Middle East.
The TERRORISTS that America and President Bush wage a war against, are ultimately after the FAILURE of Democratic Iraq. What they fear the most is a Democratic Middle East that can certainly happen under such an intriguing DOMINO THEORY. The SUCCESS of a region-wide democratic revolution in the Middle East over the coming decades would drain the swamp of grinding poverty and institutionalized injustices that feeds the global terror network with ample opportunities to recruit desperate, angry human beings, who are oppressed and who do want the opportunity to live prosperous and peaceful lives. In the Cold War, as President Bush himself has already acknowledged, America supported brutal dictatorships. Yet, it no longer can or must after Sept. 11, because the lesson was learned -- such policies did not in the final analysis increase or guarantee America's security in the homeland. The War on Terror will be won from the ramparts of moral ascendancy.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE: As much as the contention of military forces and insurgents on the ground in Iraq, there is a contest of OPPOSED VISIONS for the future of the Middle East. I already know where Osama bin Laden and the butcher Zarqawi want to take Iraq--nowhere but into a Jihad against Humanity that leads to Caliphate or Paradise via Armageddon. But I think democracy will work in the same miraculous way it did in Japan and Germany. I think that Baghdad circa 2020 will resemble Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (or even Jakarta in Indonesia -- so what?). I think it is in the context of this grander vision of the Future, that all talk of Victory and Defeat in the present ought to be comprehended.
US PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH held a Press Conference after delivering that historic Oval Office Speech. [These links to the White House coverage of both events contain nice video feeds. I think one encounters a passionate, candid and fighting American President in them better. The text makes more sense when you "hear" his voice as you read them afterwards.] I have picked out only a small part of his answers to the Press --
"Think about what has happened in a brief period of time -- relatively brief. I know with all the TV stations and stuff in America, two-and-a-half years seems like an eternity. But in the march of history, it's not all that long. They have gone from tyranny to an amazing election last December. If I'd have stood up here a year ago, in one of my many press conferences, and told you that in the -- next year I make this prediction to you, that over 10 million Iraqis, including many Sunnis, will vote for a permanent government, I think you probably would have said, there he goes again.DEMOCRACY AS A PRACTICAL INVENTION: Listening to the daily news, it certainly looks like a rough start for Iraq. But they have approved a Constitution and elected national leaders. They have forefathers now that will be revered or criticized four score and seven years hence. But don't kid yourself. There will be plenty of grief and hard work before this is "over" and the "troops can come home." The Iraqis ARE home, and they are surrounded by their enemies and their own weaknesses and turmoils. To take a thought about INVENTION from Thomas Alva Edison, Democracy is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration.
But it happened. And it happened because the Iraqis want to live in a free society. And what's important about this election is that Iraq will become an ally in the war on terror, and Iraq will serve as a beacon for what is possible; a beacon of freedom in a part of the world that is desperate for freedom and liberty. And as I say in my speeches, a free Iraq will serve as such an optimistic and hopeful example for reformers from Tehran to Damascus. And that's an important part of a strategy to help lay the foundation of peace for generations."
So in the meantime -- OUR LOVE GOES TO DEMOCRATIC IRAQ!
BLOGGERDOM TIPS AND UPDATES:
(0800) Satisfy your thirst for knowledge by reading the CHICAGOBOYZ.
The BELMONT CLUB senses the Counter-revolution looming large in the socialist movement of the charismatic Bolivian leader, EVO MORALES.
(0900) A Press Briefing has been given by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Gen. Michael Hayden, Deputy Director of National Intelligence to answer persistent Media Questions about wiretapping-without-Court-Orders. Interesting repartee about "signals intelligence" and how they relate to the various authorizations Pres. Bush has to go to war. But one conceptual issue that arises is the idea of "one end" of a communication link being "outside" the United States and another "inside". Given the global network topology and inter-connectivity, I predict there will lots of TECH BLOGGERS weighing in on the issues. I think much legal ground is also covered in the five year old decision in the case, USA v. USAMA BIN LADEN (Dec. 19, 2000), though this has all to play out yet.
(0930) VIA Email from WDH this from MySanAntonio Dot Com
No, don't kill all the lawyers. Simply ban lawyers from the bench. Judges untrained in law will come up with decisions any fool can understand. Law schools take clean-cut young people and turn their heads to mush. Non-lawyer judges could approach issues with common sense, free of "justice under the law, " something foisted on society by jurists. Gentlemen judges would put down legal tricks, stupid precedents and, by having no system, create a system that lawyers could not game.Which reminds me, one of our own RASCAL JUDGES retired today and we haven't even mentioned it...Rizalist! pull out the Davide file...
(1100) ORIN KERR of the VOLOKH CONSPIRACY has the authoritative analysis of the N.S.A. covert surveillance program. There is long section on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which seems to be central to at least some of the questions being raised.