Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Iraqi Constitution

The referendum on the Iraqi constitution that was held this weekend was a huge success, although you would never believe this if you have been listening to or reading the mainstream media. Even though the results are not clearly known and even amid speculation of voter fraud the vote was a success nonetheless. It was a success for the mere fact that the people came out and voted, even under the threat of terrorist violence Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis came out and cast their ballots.

Of course the media has done nothing but focus their attention on the thought that the Sunnis were possibly unable to block the constitution and the disillusionment with the political process this may cause. Never any optimism to be found in the media. Nothing but prognostications of greater Sunni support for the insurgency and an almost outright disappointment that the referendum may have passed.

They even seem to be lamenting the fact that there was little violence during the vote. The media refuses to acknowledge that U.S. and especially Iraqi forces did an outstanding job securing polling places, instead they believe and report that the lack of violence was probably due to a self imposed cease fire on the part of the insurgents in order to allow Sunnis the opportunity to turn out and vote “no” on the referendum. The biggest headline so far has been about the U.S. air strike in the area of Ramadi that possibly killed some civilians.

The media’s hatred of President Bush knows no bounds. They are so disappointed that their headlines could not be about the defeat of the Iraqi constitution and another setback for the Bush Administration. All the while knowing that the insurgents would see the defeat of the constitution as a victory that would lead to more violence against innocent Iraqi citizens. They focus on possible voter fraud and increasing sectarian violence. They totally ignore the fact that in two of the four Sunni majority districts the constitution seems to have been supported. Also ignored is that a major Sunni party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, issued a statement of support for the constitution after concessions were made that will give the Sunnis a chance to amend the constitution after parliamentary elections in December.

Sure there will be those Sunni factions that will and are crying foul over the voting, there may even be some that throw there lot in with the insurgency, but it seems from the voter turnout, and the good faith concessions of the Iraqi parliament, that the majority are siding with the political process. The Sunnis obviously learned a valuable lesson from boycotting the first parliamentary elections and the inability of the insurgency to stifle political progress. Many are already gearing up for the upcoming parliamentary elections to ensure strong Sunni representation for possible amendments to the constitution.

While the passing of the Iraqi constitution may not be the end all of sectarian strife in Iraq it is certainly a step in the right direction. This is a work in progress, with voter turnout higher than most U.S. elections and with the possible affirmation of a constitution in considerable less time than it took our founding fathers, we should all be optimistic about the fledgling democracy taking hold in Iraq.
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