Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Iraq gets a constitution

Iraqi voters have backed the new constitution, for all the good it will do them. Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm genuinely pleased that 63% of Iraqis braved bullets, bombs, and trigger-happy US troops to vote one way or the other. But a constitution designed from the outset to screw over Sunnis, which sidelined and ignored them during the drafting and confirmation processes, which was rejected by them by wide margins and passed over their heads on the votes of Shi'ites and Kurds will not bring Iraq together, and the government and laws which result will not be seen as legitimate by a faction which so overwhelmingly opposed it. The constitution is thus more of a missed opportunity than a new beginning.

OTOH, maybe I'm being too pessimistic. Maybe the Sunnis the constitution was intended to victimise and who consequently voted overwhelmingly against it will wake up this morning and say "other people voted to screw me over, so it must be OK". But I doubt it.