Monday, September 19, 2005

Riverbend on the draft constitution

Riverbend gives us her first review of the Iraqi draft constitution in her post, Draft Constitution - Part I.... She makes some interesting comparisons to the Temporary Constitution of 1970, which I guess was Saddam's constitution. The 1970 document was much simpler about the role of Islam, had personal status laws that were clearer and much better for women. And she says the "Rights and Freedoms" in the new constitution was cut and pasted from the previous one.

Her comparison reminds me that Juan Cole had suggested long ago that the US could have used the pre-Saddam constitution -- from the 1950's if I recall correctly -- as a basis for calling quick elections in the aftermath of the US defeat of Saddam. Back then Bremer thwarted any attempt at quick elections, and instead planned on an extended US rule. What a fool he was. Now we've spent years where we should have spent months, and the result is in part a retread of Saddam's constitution. Lovely.

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