Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Iraq Is a Project Like Japan or Germany

DEMOCRATIC IRAQ was born in a bloody war to topple Dictator Saddam Hussein three years ago. But three days ago, the Arab World's first and only Constitutional Democracy was baptized in the muddy waters of Parliamentary Elections. Like all infants, this baby can't be put back into the Mother. As fellow human beings who are citizens of our own imperfect democracies, we are duty bound by our common ancestry and the needs of our own peace of mind, to see to it that Democratic Iraq does not perish from neglect or disdain. Or from nihilstic attacks, as we pursue the luxuries of debate and the benefits of liberty, such as apathy and self-absorption in our own societies far away (such as they are.)

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.

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."
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.



Satisfy your thirst for knowledge by reading the CHICAGOBOYZ.

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.


Rizalist said...

A WARM WELCOME TRAVELER! Welcome to the Archipelago of Dreams. Do you have news of General Washington? I hear that spies are afoot and the Lobster Backs are poised for a counter-attack...

Rizalist said...

VIA EMAIL from William Dave Hanley a forward from MANNY WONG of Cybertrails.com:

I sat in my seat of the Boeing 767 waiting for everyone to hurry and stow their carry-ons and grab a seat so we could start what I was sure to be a long, uneventful flight home. With the huge capacity and slow moving people taking their time to stuff luggage far too big for the overhead and never paying much attention to holding up the growing line behind them, I simply shook my head knowing that this flight was not starting out very well. I was anxious to get home to see my loved ones so I was focused on my issues and just felt like standing up and yelling for some of these clowns to get their act together.

I knew I couldn't say a word so I just thumbed thru the "Sky Mall" magazine from the seat pocket in front of me. You know it's really getting rough when you resort to the over priced, useless sky mall crap to break the monotony. With everyone finally seated, we just sat there with the cabin door open and no one in any hurry to get us going although we were well past the scheduled take off time. No wonder the airline industry is in trouble I told myself. Just then, the attendant came on the intercom to inform us all that we were being delayed. The entire plane let out a collective groan.

She resumed speaking to say "We are holding the aircraft for some very special people who are on their way to the plane and the delay shouldn't be more than 5 minutes. The word came after waiting six times as long as we were promised that I was finally going to be on my way home. Why the hoopla over "these" folks? I was expecting some celebrity or sport figure to be the reason for the hold up .. Just get their butts in a seat and let's hit the gas I thought.

The attendant came back on the speaker to announce in a loud and excited voice that we were being joined by several U.S. Marines returning home from Iraq !!! Just as they walked on board, the entire plane erupted into applause. The men were a bit taken by surprise by the 340 people cheering for them as they searched for their seats. They were having their hands shook and touched by almost everyone who was within an arm's distance of them as they passed down the aisle. One elderly woman kissed the hand of one of the Marines as he passed by her. The applause, whistles and cheering didn't stop for a long time. When we were finally airborne, I was not the only civilian checking his conscience as to the delays in "me" getting home, finding my easy chair, a cold beverage and the remote in my hand.

These men had done for all of us and I had been complaining silently about "me" and "my" issues I took for granted the everyday freedoms I enjoy and the conveniences of the American way of life. I took for granted that others had paid the price for my ability to moan and complain about a few minutes delay to "me" while those Heroes were going home to their loved ones. I attempted to get my selfish outlook back in order and minutes before we landed, I suggested to the attendant that she announce over the speaker a request for everyone to remain in their seats until our heroes were allowed to gather their things and be first off the plane. The cheers and applause continued until the last Marine stepped off and we all rose to go about our too often taken for granted everyday freedoms.

I felt proud of them. I felt it an honor and a privilege to be among the first to welcome them home and say "Thank You for a job well done." I vowed that I will never forget that flight nor the lesson learned. I can't say it enough, THANK YOU to those Veterans and active servicemen and women who may read this and a prayer for those who cannot because they are no longer with us. GOD BLESSAMERICA! WELCOME HOME! AND THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!!! This is a ribbon for soldiers fighting in Iraq. Pass it on to everyone and pray. Something good will happen to you tonight at 9:11 PM. This is not a joke Someone will either call you or will talk to you online and say that they love you. Do not break this chain. Send this to as many people as you can in the next 15 minutes