Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 12, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

CONSTITUTIONAL COMPROMISE IN IRAQ....Apparently Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish "power brokers" have reached a compromise that seems likely to increase Sunni support for the new Iraqi constitution in Saturday's elections. It takes the Washington Post nine paragraphs before they get around to telling us what this compromise entails, but here it is:

The major concession from Tuesday's talks was agreement by the Shiites and Kurds that a committee be created early next year to consider amendments to the constitution....Any changes recommended by the committee would have to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of parliament and a national referendum.

That's it? A committee will "consider" amendments? And even if they recommend some, they still won't go anywhere unless they get broad Shiite and Kurdish support in parliament followed by majority support in a referendum?

Somebody really needs to explain what the Sunnis think they're getting here. It sounds like nothing more than a vague brush off to me. Just vote for the constitution now and we promise to seriously consider your objections at a later day. Honest.

I'm all in favor of anything that makes a peaceful transition in Iraq more likely, but I've read half a dozen stories about this agreement and every one of them makes it sound like at least some Sunnis are ecstatic over this deal. Conversely, none of them mention that it's essentially meaningless. What am I missing?

Kevin Drum 1:46 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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