Wednesday, October 12, 2005

THE U.S. MEDIA is playing the compromise on Iraq's draft constitution as a positive sign, but Juan Cole doesn't see it that way:

The Shiites and Kurds have agreed that the newly elected parliament after December 15 will reopen negotiations with the Sunni Arabs on the constitution. This step was enough to convince the Iraqi Islamic Party to drop its call for a Sunni Arab rejection fo the constitution in the October 15 referendum. This whole episode strikes me as bizarre, since Iraqis are now voting on a constitution that may be subsequently changed at will! As with the Jan. 30 parliamentary elections, in which they had no idea for whom they were voting for the most part, so in the referendum they will have no idea for what they are voting. The Bush administration is just making them jumpt through hoops in hopes that will look good and "democratic" back in Peoria and help Republicans get elected in 06. If the constitution is not ready to be voted on, they should have taken the 6-month extension and worked on it some more. This weird procedure of voting on a document that is riddled with escape hatches such that key issues will be decided later by parliament cannot lead anywhere good.

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