Saturday, July 23, 2005

Next draft of Iraqi Bill of Rights shows progress & promise

I wrote earlier to point out the write up over at Publius on the draft of the Iraqi "Bill of Rights" and I thought everyone should know that there's another draft out. Publius highlights areas where progress is clearly being made.

The drafting of a document as momentous as a Constitution has never been easy, but I have to believe the process is even harder today than it was over 200 years ago when our Founding Fathers managed that first one. Bear in mind that there were only 55 delegates in the Congress that met in Philly in 1787. Those 55 men had been chosen from among their various state's best minds and most compelling speakers. There was no internet, no mass media, no access to the monstrous amount of information we have today. And, lest we forget, there was no predecessor to measure progress against. There were prejudices aplenty but, with travel and communication being what it was, they were fairly isolated and local in nature.

Lastly, it is my considered opinion that these men were all far more capable of rational, analytical thought than is found in the majority of our modern population. Howling aggression and unyielding stances in argumentation weren't considered positives like they appear to be today. The common honor and ethics required a man to be able to back up his statements and accusations with real facts and compelling arguments. This is no longer the case today, even here in America. What does 40 years of living in a totalitarian regime do the people's ability to argue effectively and compromise? How does one do either of those things living in a culture that is still very, very beholden to a given tribe, with all the blood feuds and offenses collected throughout the years?

To quote a line from one of our favorite movies, "this is advanced citizenship." It ain't easy and that's without all the baggage of the last 40 years of brutal repression that went on over there.

Still, the Afghani's had it every bit as tough and they've made wondrous progress in 3 years. I have faith in the process and I have hope for Iraq.