Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Republic, If They Can Recognize It

David Brooks offers some assurances that the cries of despair over Iraq's proposed constitution are misplaced:

This constitution gives each group what it wants. It will create a very loose federation in which only things like fiscal and foreign policy are controlled in the center (even tax policy is decentralized). Oil revenues are supposed to be distributed on a per capita basis, and no group will feel inordinately oppressed by the others.

The Kurds and Shiites understand what a good deal this is. The Sunni leaders selected to attend the convention are howling because they are former Baathists who dream of a return to centralized power. But ordinary Sunnis, Galbraith says, will come to realize this deal protects them, too.

The yowls of protest from the Left over the proposed Iraqi constitution contrast (via Instapundit) with the admiration for the nearly identical Afghanistan constitition provisions regarding Islam and the state. Further, for a group that likes to avoid any offense against Islam (such as noting that terrorists spout Koranic verses to justify mass murder), you'd think the Left would welcome inclusion of the Religion of Peace in the Iraqi constitution. Their howls might be a bloody giveaway for their blatant Islamophobia, or something. Eh?

And keep in mind that the people working for the New York and LA Times also think that America is a fundamentalist Christian nation. So you never know what will tick them off.

So chill out. I wouldn't want to live under that constitution, but it is a major improvement over what they had before. And as Michael Barone notes, real democracies have provisions we would find odd yet these countries remain democracies. And as in many things, the key will be how Iraqis practice their new government. The Sunnis need to get with the program and ditch their Baathist masters who would dump the new constitution for fear of never regaining their bloody privileges.

Iraqis have a republic, as was noted once before in different circumstances, if they can keep it. Will the press recognize it?