First of all I am very happy to see that traffic on Cabal has gone up and that good debate is with us again. I think this is an important resource and that we criminally underused it for a few months.
Well, tomorrow is election day in the US of A and you guys have a choice between Bush or Kerry. I'm not going to comment on the merits or faults of either candidate. The last thing I want to be accused of, as a foreign citizen, is trying to influence your election. Instead I would like to propose a challenge. In an effort to break away from partisan politics I want to see if us great thinkers on this 'ere board can achieve consensus on an important issue. More than that I want to see whether we can come up with ideas for dealing with problems in the world without resorting to jumping into party lines.
So, to that end, I have a simple question, one that has a potentially very complicated answer:
What should we do next in Iraq?
That's it. Now here are my rules:
1) no bitching about previous mistakes - real or imagined. We are there and we to need think forward. Ideas should progress from how things stand as of today the 1 November 2004.
2) no mentioning of Bush or Kerry - these ideas are simply how we should proceed and what are aims should be. Feel free to use their ideas but in this case there is no need to reference the originators.
3) no hyping of parties or ideologies beyond the need to describe an idea in context, e.g. 'perhaps we should adopt the communist solution of ...'
4) no slagging off of parties or ideologies.
I declare myself the dictator responsible for deciding whether the rules have been broken and a virtual arse-kicking shall be delivered to the perpetrator! Of course this might betray my personal biases as much as breaking the rules might betray your own but so be it.
I am intrigued to see whether we can get anywhere and achieve any kind of consensus. I understand the problems of not having full information on the problem but we can all try. If there is anyone game enough to have a go I suggest they write a comment; this is our chance to step into the roles of politicians and talk with a diverse set of capable minds that hold differing view points. Surely a fantastic opportunity.