Saturday, August 15, 2009

Deliberative Iraq

If we don't want to live in a dictatorship, we must be vigilant to preserve our freedoms. Being informed on the issues requires that we become acquainted with alternative points of view. The history of the development of civilization can be seen as the history of debates on issues. In democratic societies, there must be public debating.

~Salam Ali, English Trainer

Well-said, Mr. Ali. Not just be informed, but to "become acquainted."

Spearheaded in the Kurdish city of Duhok, Iraq Debate aspires to promote equality through debating--including teaching government officials to debate. "Because all sections of Iraqi Society are equal," the group says, "we wish to establish a fair forum for all Iraqi people to develop logical, presentational, and leadership skills." It's certainly better to see people talking than either avoiding or physically hurting one another, and, as I will argue in an extension of my essay on debate in 2006, I'm not convinced the small increase in culturally imperialist/liberal hegemonic influence of "switch side debate" outweighs, by any stretch at all, the benefits of deliberative democracy--especially since, in the current epoch, such imperialism is inevitable.

Great job and kudos to my friend Muhammad, who has made this his fully committed project--I even speculate, a life project. I catch him online at what are crazy hours in Duhok. Get some sleep, Muhammad.

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