Monday, August 22, 2005

Fine Tuning

The Sunnis, Kurds, and Shias of Iraq haven't quite gotten their proposed constitution ready for release:

The parliament gathered with just minutes remaining before a midnight deadline to adopt the constitution, which still faced fierce resistance from minority Sunnis over the issue of federalism, which they fear could cut them out of most of the country's vast oil wealth, as well as power relations among the provinces.

I hope we are putting pressure on the drafters to bend the language to protect individual liberties. I also hope that we keep our hand hidden so that it is seen as an Iraqi constitution. Perhaps the talk of our unhappiness is just designed to avoid making it look like ours.

I won't panic or celebrate yet over the exact language. I keep in mind that the old Soviet constitution was a fine constitution--on paper. Ours is fairly vague and you could drive a truck through its provisions. So a lot of things could work out or not work out independent of the exact wording of much of the document.

I do not have much sympathy for the Sunnis, however. After their history, they need to accept a rule of law constitution or face the wrath of the Shia/Kurd majority with the power of a modern state behind them. Our troops won't be there forever in a moderating role.

Do the Sunnis really want to face Shias and Kurds out for revenge?