Feisty one lays it on the line to Americans

“When you’re up to your eyeballs in alligators, it’s hard to remember that you came to drain the swamp.”

As an anti-war crazy left wingnut, I suggest we look further abroad than our own noses for the Swampthing, the movie version actually being a love story and not a horror movie.

Hat tip to Tom Paine Dispatch for this tip on looking to deal with swamps and critters.

How To Drain The Swamp
Rami G. Khouri
September 26, 2005

Rami G. Khouri is editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune.

“The big question that challenges us all in the Middle East is this: how, in practical terms, does the Arab world make the transition from mild autocracies, benign monarchies and a few police state dictatorships to more democratic rule? How do we “drain the swamp”?

George Bush and Tony Blair have offered their way, via war in Iraq and an aggressive reform agenda throughout the region. Arab citizens and political actors have other suggestions, and have been constantly meeting and working to find the keys that unlock the current rigid systems and open the door to democratic transformations. I attended one such meeting in Beirut last week that provides valuable insights into both the sentiments and the transformational mechanics of the Arab quest for democracy, accountability and just plain decency in how power is exercised in our societies. Here was a group of concerned, thoughtful, and realistic Arab citizens from different countries bringing down the lofty rhetoric of freedom and democracy to the practical level of how to change society

We don’t need fancy new organizations, complex international mechanisms or slightly forced speeches by leaders of large Western democracies to drain the swamp and promote democracy and freedom in the Arab world. Anybody who wishes to move in this direction should simply listen more carefully to the thoughts of those who live in the swamp. Ordinary Arabs must enjoy the right to meet and discuss, to organize and act, and to have access to a fair system of laws and judicial courts. These three practical steps are the focus of activists throughout this region, and they should stimulate more serious strategies for political change in the Arab world by friends abroad.”

Read from the MIT Center on International Studies about Arabs and the NYT article on women and Saudi Arabia.

This sort of thing might be more compelling than any war on nation states. You know that, so talk about it.

Media Matters reports a Rush L statement:

“During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq “phony soldiers.”

Do not push that button. In my eyes you eliminate yourself from the conversation.

Democratic leadership say things, Republican leaders say things, but it is for the perspective of the American voter, not the benefit of the ME. For that we have to get out of the box, look around to unfamiliar arguments, and consider something other than our own reflection. Some of the points about US leadership are salient and related to ME, but are not part of the swamp.