After making a spirited defense of Ahmad Chalabi Christopher Hitchens makes a practical constructive suggestion to the legions of people who exerted so much energy opposing the war in Iraq.
What if one-tenth of the energy of the anti-war movement was now diverted to helping the secular and democratic forces in Iraq and Kurdistan? To giving assistance to a free press, helping to sponsor political prisoners and searches for the missing, providing money and materials for human rights and women's groups? Maybe a few of the human shields and witnesses for peace could return and pitch in with the reconstruction? I know a few such volunteers, chiefly medical ones, but not many when compared to the amazing expenditure of time and effort that went on postponing the liberation. It's just a thought. Maybe something will come of it.
There are probably all manner of groups in Iraq that would do with a small printing press, xerox machine, fax machine, paper, and other supplied need to set up newspapers, political parties, and activist groups. There are no doubt Iraqi intellectuals who would like to devote themselves to investigating the past activities of Saddam's regime. Small amounts of money wisely directly could go a long well toward helping to build a civil society in Iraq.
While this may seem odd I'm reminded of the web site where people can order pizzas for Israeli soldiers. What is needed is for some organization to form to accept donations of equipment and cash to deliver to groups and individuals in Iraq who are trying to build a civil society. In fact, one can easily imagine the formation of different groups that direct their money toward people of different ideological persuasions and for different causes. For example, imagine something equivalent to Emily's List that directs money toward feminist politicians and feminist political activists in Iraq.
To staff the boards of such groups well known public figures whose political views are well understood and whose integrity is unquestioned are needed to volunteer their names and some time to do oversight to assure that the donated money and equipment are all going toward their intended purposes. Perhaps a few really big name bloggers could volunteer their own time as directors and also to help promote these organizations.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 April 25 01:41 PM Reconstruction and Reformation|