Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Informed Comment - as I read it more like uninformed blather

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Coup in Baghdad
Unfinished Constitution Presented, vote Delayed -

Mr. Cole has no disabled the ability to trackback, find a unique URL for linking, and comments so it may be a little bit difficult to find this post.

Mr. Coles article begins with:

The new constitution, with blank passages, was presented to parliament just before midnight on August 22. But parliament did not vote on it, and a "three-day delay" was announced.

Announced?

The rule of law is no longer operating in Iraq, and no pretence of constitutional procedure is being striven for. In essence, the prime minister and president have made a sort of coup, simply disregarding the interim constitution. Given the acquiescence of parliament and the absence of a supreme court (which should have been appointed by now but was not, also unconstitutionally), there is no check or balance that could question the writ of the executive.


What he is saying here is that it is far more important to allow Iraq to decay into civil war than to attempt to work out the differences between the parties. That the Iraqi people are not capable of making decisions for themselves but need a strong hand to keep them in line. Essentially that whatever replaces the former Ba'athist government will be illegitimate and unspportable. I in my ignorance disagree.

He goes on to speculate this all political manuevering to get rid of religous Shi'ites and predicts doom for the constitution in the national elections. That could come to pass but I am hopeful that it won't. He then moves on to:

I don't know how this very loose federal system will work, and the granting of the right to form provincial federations seems to me dangerous. And I have a sinking feeling that rigid interpretations of Islamic canon law may end up trumping some of the beautiful human rights otherwise promised.

Let me introduce you to a couple of concepts professor, statehood and the Canadian province. Federalism can and does work.

Finally he starts to talk about the constitution itself and lets loose with this little gem:

18 a forbids stripping any natural-born Iraqi of citizenship under any circumstances. Gee, maybe Bush could learn something here-- he wanted to strip US citizens of their citizenship as part of his 'war on terror.' But no one has more terror than Iraq, and they resisted this temptation. US congressional supporters of Bush's authoritarian so-called "PATRIOT" bill should be shamed by article 18, section A of the Iraqi constitution.

First off professor it has long been allowed under US law to remove US citizenship, one way is by swearing allegiance to a foriegn prince. Naturalized citizens have their citizenship removed all the time, most notably a string of Nazi SS members. Should they have been allowed to maintain their citizenship? Finally have you even read the PATRIOT Act? If so can you show me a section that doesn't require judicial review of warrants, wire taps etc? No of course you can't.

Well that's enough for now but I am sure Professor Cole has an upcoming gig at the New York Times.
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