Third Party & Independents Archives

September 29, 2003

Iraqi Constitution

Secretary of State Collin Powell has indicated that the U.S. will expect Iraq to complete a Constitution in six months which will lay the groundwork for elections and a legitimate Iraqi government to take control of Iraq. Why six months? When I first read this, two thoughts immediately popped into mind. President Bush needs something positive to campaign on in 2004 and the fact that it took 11 years for our founding fathers to create our Constitution from the time we declared Independence from England. It is likely the Bush administration, for its own election purposes, will push this 6 month deadline on an Iraqi Constitution.

If the Constitution is drafted by March of 2004, it will take at least months for the candidates to be selected and campaigns to run in order for elections to be held. Will the U.S. then aim for Iraqi elections in September of 2004, a scant 8 weeks before Bush's reelection bid comes due? This would be just enough time for President Bush to campaign on his nation building prowess, but not enough time for the new government's failings and internal threats to make headlines. Time will tell.

But what form will the Iraqi Constitution take? Will it be drafted by Iraqi citizen scholars? Will Bremer or other Americans be involved in the drafting? If the Constitution is drafted as a democracy, will it reflect American democracy, English parliamentary democracy, or direct democracy?

And whom will the democracy serve? Will it lay the legal groundwork for lobbyists and institutionalized special interest bribery such as we have in the U.S.? Will their Constitution have a bill of rights such as ours, or will rights be based on Islamic values regarding the role of women, children, and property? Can the citizens of Iraq be educated to this new form of government in time for Bush's reelection? Can the hostilities in Iraq be put down before Bush's November of 2004 run for office? Or, will a democratic government in Iraq act as an even more powerful magnet for al-Queda and other Muslim fundamentalist terrorists?

In the U.S., we fought and ended the Revolutionary War before convening a Continental Congress, which, for the most part, put eligible voting males on the same page with regard to the form a sovereign national government should take. Will Iraqi's agree en masse to a document to govern in light of the factional interests, religious groups, and historical hatreds and blood feuds? Is six months time enough to work all these issues out and educate the people so that the new Constitution has at least a remote chance of surviving?

To date, President Bush has nothing positive to run on. The economy has only slowly recovered from a mild world wide recession. International stock markets have consistently outperformed U.S. markets throughout the recovery. My international stocks in my 401K have produced an 18.1 percent return this year while my S&P 500 has only produced 3.2 percent. We still have a jobless recovery.

We went to war against the terrorists who caused death and injury in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, but, have left Osama Bin Laden, the promoter of those attacks to operate as leader of al-Queda ever since. This week the story is we went to war with Iraq to depose a horrible dictator who killed thousands of his own people. But, we have no evidence that Hussein is dead or captured and it would appear he is waiting in the wings for an opportunity to come back.

We do have 6.8 trillion dollars of national debt waiting for American tax payers. We do have 1/2 trillion dollar deficits which are going to be added to that debt in the coming year and we have close to two billion dollars a day in interest payments on that debt awaiting us in coming years.

We have some of the most divisive politics taking place and the rancor will no doubt worsen as will the divide of the nation as we approach the elections next year. We have a nation divided over the war in Iraq as legitimate, whether the debt and deficits were necessary, whether social security will be viable or not, whether public schools should give up funding to private schools, whether or not our government should be curtailiing citizen liberties, freedoms, and privacy, in exchange for promises of security which can never be met.

We have 400 plus body bags returned from Iraq and veteran's hospitals filling with the maimed and ill sons and daughters of American families. We have a President unwilling to turn Iraq over to the U.N. for rebuilding which would lower our debt and deficits and reduce the body bags being returned to us. A plan, by the way. that is supported by Green and Democratic Party candidate, Dennis Kucinich.

Ah yes, this article is about the Iraqi Constitution and the 6 month deadline for its drafting. This should just about cover the reasons for pushing the Iraqi people into a constitution that will not reflect the informed consent of the people of Iraq. This should just about cover the reasons for drafting a constitution which will likely not even reflect the culture, character, or will of the majority of people in Iraq. And there is a good American reason right here at home in our Whitehouse why it should be so, isn't that right, Mr. President?

Posted by David R. Remer at September 29, 2003 04:52 AM
Comment #3002

Well at least the the Iraqis will be living under a constitutional goverment.

Posted by: Jake of at September 29, 2003 12:54 PM
Comment #3008

Or conducting civil war over it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 29, 2003 03:17 PM
Comment #3014

If we pulled out now, there’d be a civil war as well.

Or are you saying we should stay 11 years until a Constitution is worked out?

Posted by: Bret at September 29, 2003 05:53 PM
Comment #3018

The timeline would actually be longer except for the increasing pressure from the UN to get things done faster. If the Bush Administration had its way, it would probably take longer than 6 months. But all the crazy people in the UN want everything to happen now, and we’re trying to create as short of a realistic timeline as possible. The election has nothing to do with it… of course, conspiracies are the flavor of the month on the Third Party blog.

Posted by: CJ at September 29, 2003 08:02 PM
Comment #3020

Sorry for the double post.. please delete this one and the one above when you get a chance.

Posted by: CJ at September 29, 2003 08:02 PM
Comment #3023

All those crazy people shooting at our troops want it to happen soon too. For that matter I’m sure our troops want it to happen soon so they can stop being shot at and come back here and find out how badly their VA benefits were gutted.

You lefties better not call them baby killers either or they’re likely to hate you instead of Bush.

Posted by: Stephen VanDyke at September 29, 2003 09:31 PM
Comment #3026

A constitution that is in the best interests of ALL Iraqi people can not be had quickly, or without consideration of the cultural makeup of the people there, which is extremely diverse.

If the populace wants to create a long lasting, prudent and effective constitution that represents all of thier peoples best interests, it would be wise to adopt a timeframe that allows for such considerations.

The French just want thier friggin oil contracts met, and the debt that is owed them by the former Dictator. So do the Russians.

Posted by: pete at September 29, 2003 11:22 PM
Comment #3034


No one here is talking about leaving a void in Iraq. The smart thing to do is turn Iraq over to the U.N. leaving an appropriate manpower contingent of 20,000 persons initially and lower that over time.

U.N. security forces could maintain order as well as we can, and they can take whatever time is necessary to complete the nation building process.

But, our President is hell bent on keeping Iraq for himself and preventing the U.N. from upstaging him no matter what the cost in body bags, and nation building debt that we tax payers are painfully going to regret.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 30, 2003 02:01 AM
Comment #8375

I agree that it would be best for the UN to intervene for the transitional stage. However, they will not involve themselves in the transitio until the environment is more secure and the threat of attack is reduced. I served in Iraq until November, and I feel that any way the pie is sliced, its going to make a mess…sorry for my pesticism.

Posted by: Tye at February 24, 2004 12:17 PM
Comment #9047

A Soldier

(Comment deleted by WatchBlog Manager for critiquing writers instead of the content of their writing.) I was in Iraq from the end of major hostilities till the end of March and Iraq isn’t as bad a place as the liberal media makes it out to be. I personally have not known anyone to die in Iraq, thank GOD, and every day it is getting better for what I can see. It will just take time to rebuild Iraq. Quite frankly I wouldn’t want any other UN nations greedy hands to get a say in Iraq that isn’t allready here. I am glad with the greedy hands having all the say in Iraq as is. At least this way a single idea will be in the thought process of rebuilding Iraq’s Government, not 20.


Posted by: Herb at March 6, 2004 12:06 PM