Thursday, August 25, 2005

Only Terrorists Vote No

Talks are continuing on the new constitution for Iraq. It looks as if the Shia and Kurdish leaders are going to press ahead with a constitution which many Sunnis, and some Shias, find unacceptable. It's difficult to see how such a constitution would survive a referendum, or how it would calm the insurgent/terrorist violence. Unsurprisingly though, I did see (I think on Newsnight) that advertisements promoting a yes vote have already been produced. Hard to see how that's possible without knowing what the constitution is actually going to say. One assumes they adopted the position "Vote yes to, like, whatever!". I wonder who produced the advertisements?

Anyway, the BBC have supplied a PDF of the draft constitition. I've only skimmed through it so far, but already I've noticed one or two instances of US influence. Here's one:
Article (8): Iraq shall abide by the principles of good neighbourliness and by not intervening in the internal affairs of the other countries, and it shall seek to peacefully resolve conflicts and shall establish its relations on the basis of shared interests and similar treatment and shall respect its international obligations.
This is indeed a very sensible principle. Does anyone know if the US administration will be looking to attach a similar ammendment to their own constitution?

Another deadline has come and gone. Still no sign of an agreement.

Here's a reminder of what Bush said on August 11th.
As to the constitution, one of the meetings we had this morning was with Zal, our ambassador in Baghdad. And he gave us a briefing as to the progress on the constitution. We have made it clear that we believe that constitution can be and should be agreed upon by August 15th. And so I'm operating on the assumption that it will be agreed upon by August the 15th.
I know. It's just so hard to imagine this President basing his foreign policy decisions on an erroneous assumption. No denying it though, this is straight from the horses as mouth.

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