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August 22, 2005

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And what will be the reaction among Bush's most ardent followers if Iraq has a constitution that enshrines Sharia and Allah as the true God, prohibits the free exercise of Christianity, prohibits efforts at conversion, or whatever? Will they feel betrayed?

If there is a Shiite state in the south aligned with Iran?

If the Salafi clerics and their followers in the Sunni region continue to enshrine their faith and all the puritanical trappings associated with it?

This whole situation represents such a tangled web of karma on all sides that it threatens to strangle the new Iraqi state in its cradle.

Freedom on the march, alright---right out of the country

The Tom DeLay reference is quite astute, DHinMI. In a sense, Iraqis are partly at the mercy of the advice they are getting from their American benefactors. Given the contemptuous attitude shown by the entire GOP toward any minority rights, it only make sense they'd advocate a push-it-through-and-let-them-gripe strategy in Iraq (especially as it suits their immediate purpose of extricating from Iraq under cover of "progress").

Tangentially, I think the Russians suffered similar bad luck in having their empire collapse at a time when the free markets uber alles crowd controlled US thinking. An American government that believed at least a bit in the New Deal would probably not have so vigorously advocated shock therapy...and Russia might not have become quite the economic basket-case it did (with final results still untallied).

It may not be representative, but the first reports I've heard on CNN about this new Constitution have been skeptical in just the way you are -- wondering what's the value of a system that guarantees continuing grievance from a minority already given to insurgent sympathy. I presume FOX will make this yet another Saddam in the Spider hole/purple fingers kind of triumph day, but I don't see the press as a whole following suit this time. As Tom Oliphant said last week, the flip side of the fawning coverage a president gets when his numbers are high is the skeptical look he gets when they're low.

Mimikatz: as always, you raise some very good points. It's really an incredible irony to think about how one of the problems the internationalist rightwing--Bush, Cheney and the other empire builders--has with the paleoright is the paleos occassional insistence that civil and human rights be emphasized with nasty regimes (as long as it's Christians whose rights they're denying) like China and Saudi Arabia. What now?

And for a very specific case, what happens here in Michigan where we have a couple hundred thousand Chaldeans--Iraqi Roman Catholics--who've tended to be stalwart Republicans (unlike most of the rest of the Arabs in the area, who range mostly from solid Dem to swing voters). They were already pretty sour on the war; if a Constitution like we're reading about passes, their families still in Iraq will be devastated.

As for the Salfists, check out that Guardian article (the final link). It's chilling.

Demtom: another DeLay analogy could be made about how the Parliament keeps ignoring the Temporary Administrative Law which required that Parliament either pass the draft constitution by August 15 or punt for 6 months. Twice now they've "suspended the rules" in a way that's not provided for under the framework created by the Provisional Authority.

Mimikatz,

I'm not sure they'll feel betrayed. They'll probably say things like, "well, we gave them an opportunity for freedom but they didn't work hard enough for it." Crap like that. And I honestly think many of them won't even notice the constitution enshrines Sharia law. Do they KNOW what sharia law is?

What will really blow their tops is the first time a Sunni carries out a terror attack in the US in response to having lost all. There are an astounding number of people (including my own rather intelligent brother) who believe in that flypaper BS. When that proves to be a lie, they may short circuit.

It doesn't matter what happens to the constitution. There is going to be something placed on paper to satisfy Bush, Bush is going to pull the troops out of Iraq next Spring and Summer in the bug-out he won't set a timetable for but which is already planned, and then the civil war which has already started in Iraq will get a lot hotter.

We won't hear much about the civil war because with no troops fighting in Iraq, our 'news' organizations aren't going to risk reporters or spend the high costs required in body guards for foreign coverage where no Americans are directly involved any more. That's mere foreign coverage. They don't spend money on that any more. It doesn't get ratings, you see.

The worthless piece of paper that is the coming constitution will do what it was intended to do. It will cover the Republican rear for the 2006 elections.

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