Watching Peter Pace on NBC'S MEET THE PRESS
He’s the head of the Army or something.
Two interesting things:
1. He said girls can go to school NOW. Made me wonder what the educational situation was like under Saddam.
2. He was asked how he felt about the Iraq Prime Minister praising Noam Chomsky. It obviously pissed him off. But he said if al-Jaafari read Chomsky among other writers, it is probably healthy. Made me think about Chomsky. I think he’s essentially a Deconstructionist. He makes arguments that privilege the view of the US government as a belligerent hegemony. It’s potentially true. It also leaves little room for moderates who believe in the power of Democracy, but also feel that our government persecutes violence that doesn’t or shouldn’t represent our feelings.
I am mostly a pragmatist that desires stability, like most people. I want people to have a government that is the only source of legitimate violence. I also want the rule of that goverment to be legitimate in itself, that does not sway from the rule of law nor checks and balances. I think a big thing missing from the Neo-Con philosophy is Common Sense, of course. In general, but also in the Thomas Paine sense. We need an articulate argument why Democracy is a better path. Democracy has to stand for something or it is simply a front for tyranny. Democracy needs to have a central text the same way Islam does. Democracy cannot see women in one way depending on religion or validate Military Rule in Pakistan and hope to retain its authenticity.
My recommendation as the central text of Democracy: THE BILL OF RIGHTS.
Let’s have cartoon contests to illustrate these beauties to the world. There are something to stand for, at least. (I'm gonna change number two since it's kind of dumb.)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear TIVO ( or similar devices) , shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.