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Deadline: The Iraqi Constitution

Raed Jarrar, Raed in the Middle

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August 16, 2005

Another two weeks!
Another two hours!
Another two minutes!

The Iraqi constitution committee is begging for another last minute, as if the world is ending tomorrow. With all the internal pressure (i.e. the daily insurgent attacks) and the external pressure (the US administration’s imposed deadlines), the committee finds itself between a rock and a hard place. The US ambassador to Iraq attends all the constitution meetings and gives the Iraqi stakeholders some printed "suggestions" to break the deadlock, while the Iraqi resistance’s assassinations and attacks are getting stronger and more effective.

The Iraqi "governments", established and supported by the occupation, has spent the last couple of years collapsing. Every new day is a worse day; every yesterday is brighter than any tomorrow.

When the elections-under-occupation happened eight long months ago, the US administration tried its best to market the elections as the savior, as THE solution. I didn’t take a part of the January elections because I believed it would increase Iraq’s problems and disasters. I believed that such unfair elections under occupation would open the doors of hell.

Unfortunately, they did.

The US administration didn’t change its policy in Iraq, and the US decision makers are still refusing to face the truth. The premature elections this year were more than enough to convince anyone of the fact that Iraq won’t be rebuilt if we continued working on the same path: bush’s path of lies and failure.

The Iraqi constitution shouldn’t be rushed through. Iraqis have the right to take as much time as they need to write their country’s constitution. Having a good constitution is important, but it’s not a priority in the Iraqi case.

There is a very long list of priorities that need deadlines in Iraq: basic services (e.g. electricity, water, food rations, health care, free education, etc.), basic human rights (the very same rights that are being violated on a daily basis by occupation supported Iraqi military and paramilitary forces), and basic capacity building for Iraqi civil society (i.e. building and rebuilding Iraq’s NGOs and Grassroots organizations).

But why would a country like today’s Iraq have a deadline for their constitution?! What would an imposed constitution achieve in the war-torn country? Shouldn’t the current government try to gain as much public support for writing the constitution before worrying about deadlines? What is the point of doing a rush job on a constitution that has no popular support and is rejected in the public referendum?

I support elections, but I didn’t support January’s elections. I support having a good Iraqi constitution, but I care more about the mechanisms and governmental structures that can and will implement any constitution.

Iraq already has a secular constitution that protects Iraq’s unity and human rights, and gives very important rights to minorities, but this didn’t prevent the Iraqi government before the fall of Baghdad from committing all the mistakes they did. The 1970 Iraqi constitution has many better aspects than the one under construction now, but what would any constitution do in a battle field with no laws like Iraq under occupation?

This constitution is nothing more than another mistake of the bush administration in Iraq. It can’t make things better, but it may make them worse. Iraqis should be left to write their constitution and rule their country by themselves.

The only deadline that should be set by the US-led coalition is the one for their complete withdrawal from Iraq.


:: Article nr. 14730 sent on 17-aug-2005 09:20 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=14730

Link: raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/2005/08/deadline-iraqi-constitution.html



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