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  • Constitutional tempest in Iraq

    Read and draw your own conclusions:

    Constitutional tempest in Iraq

    By Bruce Fein

    Volcanic. That characterizes a heated symposium I attended in Ankara, Turkey, last week sponsored by the Foreign Policy Institute and Bilkent University to appraise "Iraq on the way to its new Constitution." The attendees included Iraqi participants in the March 8, 2004, interim constitution promulgated by the 25 member Iraqi Governing Council (IGC). Other attendees hailed from Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    The symposium exposed numerous fault lines destined to fracture Iraq soon after the Coalition Provisional Authority and United States sovereignty dissolve on June 30, 2004:

    • An interim constitution and Iraqi Transitional Government devoid of legitimacy.
    • A legal system denuded of legal principles.
    • An irreconcilable conflict between the universal tenets of Islam and fundamental democratic freedoms.
    • Implacable embitterment of Kurds toward Arabs born of their wretched oppression and genocide under Saddam Hussein.
    • A demand by Turkmen to the same language and autonomy privileges enjoyed by Kurds.
    • And exchanges and monologues that smacked more of belligerence than of fraternity.

    A favorite of the Defense Department, Ahmed Chalabi, is more reviled than Saddam Hussein. The interim constitution was neither drafted nor debated in a public forum before its promulgation. The document turned precepts of self-government on their heads.

    The defenders fatuously retorted that the interim constitution and the IGC deserved legitimacy because both were superior to Saddam Hussein and Ba'athist tyranny. By that yardstick, a restoration of the King Feisel dynasty would be defensible. It was further urged that the IGC featured members from all of Iraq's major ethnic and religious groups.

    Article 7 enshrines both the universal tenets of Islam that subjugate women and strict gender equality as the supreme law of the land. A challenge by one of two female conferees (neither from Iraq) to harmonize the loud clashing was met by answers that Islam granted equality among men.

    The tenets of Islam also war with the freedom of expression guaranteed in Article 13, for example, in mandating fatwas against Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" or similar irreverences about the Holy Koran or the Prophet Mohammed. The tenets also punish conversion from Islam with death, a punishment at war with Article 7's protection of religious freedom.

    The seminar changed no minds. Differences were more aggravated than softened. Contemplating Iraq's future evoked visions of civil war featuring rocket propelled grenades and AK-47s, not free and fair national assembly elections monitored by United Nations observers.

    The United States should declare its post-Saddam nation-building enterprise a failure. It should begin immediately to arrange the partition of Iraq by regional self-determination plebiscites. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it would be the worst imaginable last chapter of Operation Enduring Freedom, except for all the plausible alternative scripts.

    Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer and international consultant at Fein & Fein and the Lichfield Group.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/...85445-5772r.htm
    Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

    "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

  • #2
    This Manifest Destiny thing just isnt happening the way the Neo-Cons planned it...
    “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

    Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

    Comment


    • #3
      This should be Bush's main concern! If Iraq blows up, his whole 4 year term becomes one big negative.
      Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

      "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, what do you expect from the liberal Washington Times?

        Vice President Cheney (on Meet the Press, March, 03): Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. And like Kanan Makiya who's a professor at Brandeis, but an Iraqi, he's written great books about the subject, knows the country intimately, and is a part of the democratic opposition and resistance. The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.
        The Dude abides.

        Comment


        • #5
          heh, 8 months into nation building and they are already further than rwanda, East TImor, Kosovo, and Haiti

          Already the UN is clamoring to take responsibility, Saddam is gone, an interim constitution is in effect.

          Democracy has taken strong root against the weed that is terrorism.


          Keep looking at it half full, and wish for empty
          Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nick2@Mar 30 2004, 08:50 AM

            The United States should declare its post-Saddam nation-building enterprise a failure. It should begin immediately to arrange the partition of Iraq by regional self-determination plebiscites. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it would be the worst imaginable last chapter of Operation Enduring Freedom, except for all the plausible alternative scripts.

            This is a great idea.

            But the country that smashed its only attempt at regional autonomy will never go for it (I'm talking about the United States, you know).

            And the plunder continues..........................

            Comment


            • #7
              Article 7 enshrines both the universal tenets of Islam that subjugate women and strict gender equality as the supreme law of the land. A challenge by one of two female conferees (neither from Iraq) to harmonize the loud clashing was met by answers that Islam granted equality among men.
              Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

              "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

              Comment


              • #8
                lazy, you can ignore the observations of an international constitutional lawyer WHO WAS THERE if you want to, but please don't expect all of us to assume magic dust will make the age old hatreds between the Iraqi factions disappear...

                this is much, much harder than the arrogant neo-cons will admit to this day...the invasion and occupation were/are child's play compared to the aftermath...

                not hoping for adversity, just expecting it - given the data - and wondering WTF we are doing there in the first place...
                The Dude abides.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Right moe, I saw were your "neo-cons" said how easy it would be.

                  Nation Building always sucks, thats why most detest it. Except the UN of course. And their record is sparkling.
                  Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lazydaze@Mar 30 2004, 10:06 AM
                    Right moe, I saw were your "neo-cons" said how easy it would be.

                    Nation Building always sucks, thats why most detest it. Except the UN of course. And their record is sparkling.
                    my neo-cons now...LOL...not surprised you're distancing yourself from them, though...if you disagree that they sold us blue skies and green lights, please cite some quotes (prior to the war/Rummy's long hard slog leaked memo) wherein GWB or the cabal talked about half a trillion or 5-10 years...
                    The Dude abides.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      and wondering WTF we are doing there in the first place...
                      We're trying to take over the world. And it'll be a lot easier if you guys would quit drawing so much attention to it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lazydaze@Mar 30 2004, 09:57 AM
                        Democracy has taken strong root against the weed that is terrorism.
                        lazy:

                        I don' know if you are familiar with Tom Bethel. He writes for the American Spectator and is one of my favorites.

                        His most recent piece (in the March edition) is entitled "The Living Hell of Bill Moyers" - it is vintage Bethel. The basic premise is that die-hard liberals like Bill Moyers are most disturbed by the fact that their obsession (which are essentially the same gnostic heresies that obsessively recur throughout history - equality, abolition of property, destruction of the family, overthrow of traditional faith, etc.) are once again waning.

                        Bethel closes his piece with this:

                        "The moral of the story is that what people believe about God is more important than we usually imagine. The rise of Islam, a counterpoise to the modern decline of Christianity, should concentrate our minds on this important subject. Allah, as Muslims view him, is omnipotent, above logic and reason, unrestrained by natural law. He can decree at any moment that evil is good and that two plus two make five. People are subject to his arbitrary and tyrannical rule and can do little more than plead for mercy. Nations who worship such a God, it turns out, are themselves governable only by a tyrannical ruler. My guess is that democracy is about as likely to establish the rule of law in Araby as it is to achieve the egalitarian communalism of Moyer's dreams."

                        This is now King talking: We need to get the hell out of Iraq.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          lazy: A favorite of the Defense Department, Ahmed Chalabi, is more reviled than Saddam Hussein.
                          Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

                          "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nations who worship such a God, it turns out, are themselves governable only by a tyrannical ruler. My guess is that democracy is about as likely to establish the rule of law in Araby as it is to achieve the egalitarian communalism of Moyer's dreams."
                            He's right. Twenty years from now, if not sooner, we'll be back over there again, doing the same thing. You set 'em up, we'll knock 'em down....that's the way it's always been over there, and that's the way it'll always be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              nick2... you got stats for that diamond in the rough.

                              Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

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