Lump on a Blog is worried that GWB has allowed Islamic teaching too great a place in the making of the Iraqi Constitution. There are some worrying signs, but on the whole, I think it will be well.
“Iraqi Talks Move Ahead on Some Issues,” The Sunday New York Times did report, under an August 20 Baghdad deadline, that “Under a deal brokered Friday by the American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, Islam was to be named “a primary source of legislation” in the new Iraqi constitution, with the proviso that no legislation be permitted that conflicted with the ‘universal principles’ of the religion. The latter phrase raised concerns that Iraqi judges would have wide latitude to strike down laws now on the books, as well as future legislation. At the same time, according to a Kurdish leader involved in the talks, Mr. Khalilzad had backed language that would have given clerics sole authority in settling marriage and family disputes. That gave rise to concerns that women’s rights, as they are enunciated in Iraq’s existing laws, could be curtailed. Finally, according to the person close to the negotiations, Mr. Khalilzad had been backing an arrangement that could have allowed clerics to have a hand in interpreting the constitution.”
That has problems, but sometimes a word means what those in power say it means aka the guys with the biggest guns which happens to be the US Army. Our job in Germany after we settled the unrest was to ensure that 1)The Sovs didn't gobble up the damaged West of Europe 2)Ensure by our very presence that no German nut rose to power because we were there as an extra-constitutional veto on any such thing.
Thats where we are heading with Iraq. It reminds one of Turkey where the Army does the same thing. They step in and step out, but only when the voters go nuts, and they wisely avoid the temptation of a military junta by stepping back out. Which on the whole is a rather remarkable thing; in its way, as remarkable as some American innovations.