Iraqi Nightmare Part One
Michael Totten notes that the draft of the Iraqi Constitution, is not in the same vein of say, the American Consitution or the Magna Carta. No, think more like Iran. Here is what Michael has to say:
There is no silver lining here, no “bright side” to look on. It’s bad news, period. At least it’s a draft. Iraqis have yet to accept or reject it. (Some Sunni Arabs are also threatening a general uprising over the issue of federalism, so it doesn’t look like the draft of this constitution is going anywhere just yet.)
Here’s the thing about Islamism: to some people it looks great on paper. It’s a real bitch when it’s put into practice. Just ask the Iranians. They know from experience what it’s actually like. The problem in Iran is that Iranians learned this the hard way too late. The Guardian Council holds all the real power. Liberals and moderates are shut out completely and violently.
Roger Hardy of the BBC has a chilling story about how Iraq, which was a secular state under Saddam, might become an Islamic Republic ala its neighbor, Iran. He states that the proposed constitution has cited Islam as the "main source" of law and that no leiglation can contradict Islamic law.
He notes that secular minded Iraqis -be they Shia or Sunni are worried where the country is going. Hardy says:
At the same time, secular-minded Iraqis - whether Sunni, Shia or Kurd - are deeply concerned about the direction the country is taking.
In many ways, Iraq is already dramatically different from the place it was just a few years ago.
Mixed marriages between Sunni and Shia, once taken for granted, are becoming problematic.
In many parts of the country, women dare not walk bare-headed in the street.
And reports from parts of the lawless north-west paint a grim picture of Taliban-style rule by radical Sunni militants.
He goes on to note that Iraqi watchers in nearby countries think this decentralized-confessional Iraq could end up like Lebanon in the 70s and 80s.
The President has stated that a democratic Iraq would be a model to the region. Many people, myself included, had hoped that maybe, just maybe he could make it happen. It would have been wonderful to see a strong Arab democratic state in that region. But, like everything about this war, the President and his adminsitration have planned this poorly. We hoped for at least another Turkey and might instead get an Iran, Afghanistan or Lebanon. Or maybe all three.
What would have happened if the Adminstration sent in tons of lawyers in the early days of the war and provided the country with a provisional constitution ala Japan after WWII? Instead, we have unleased a pandora's box of religious extremism that might end up coming to haunt us. As usual, this Administation is living a dreamland thinking that things will just work out. It is, but not as planned.
I still think pulling out immediately is a bad idea, but allowing for an Iran-style "democracy" is just as bad as leaving Iraq to the insurgents.