Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Post Constitutional Vote Aftermath

It looks likely the Iraqi constitution may have passed. And as I posted the other day, passage of the constitution is probably less preferable than the defeat which would have better integrated the Sunni community into a constitutional debate dialog. Instead, more frustration will now set into the Sunni community and most likely promote more support for the insurgent violence.

The U.S. Constitution took 14 years to hammer out, despite a far more homogeneous population, than the very heterogeneous population of Iraq, sharply divided along three distinct ethnic group lines. The better involvement of the Sunni population into political dialog, then the far better to quell the Sunni support for political indifference at best, or insurgent violence at worst.

The flawed constitutional document is hardly likely to glue Iraq together as a single state for the future, where the likelyhood of a breakup into three seperate ethnic states is far more likely if the flawed constitution does indeed pass. The Bush Administration seemed to pressure Iraqi lawmakers to throw something together on paper and pass it off as a constitution. It didn't seem to matter what the content or the consequences of the words were, only that the Bush Administration could have some new talking point to parade around as the approval ratings for Bush continue to sag to new subbasement lows. If this isn't sacrificing tommorrow for the sake of today, then I don't know what is. But a far better document that could have reduced Sunni support for violence and planned for a future unitrd state of Iraq would have been far better than the Bush Administration expecting the Iraqi government to write up and pass a seriously flawed document according to an articially set administration timetable. The Bush Administration is far more concerned with playing up to the political winds at home, then getting the mission done right in Iraq.

Along with the disappointment in the Sunni community, that participation in the electoral process is nearly meaningless, came news of a new horrible roadside bombing that killed five American soldiers, involving a new type of more destructive roadside bomb that can penetrate several inches of armor. This means that Humvees, armored cars and tanks are now vulnerable to this new sort of bomb, despite increased armor protection.

But this roadside bomb attack also brought on an equally terrible U.S. response in which 70 suspected insurgents were killled. But a number of civilians were caught up in the "collateral damage", and hospital scenes of a small girl or a grieving father crying over the wreckage of a destroyed home were gut wrenching. In fact as many as 39 civilians, including women and children may have been killed according to a report by CBS. It almost reminds one of the twisted reasoning of Vietnam, in which one American military commander claimed that "we had to destroy the village to save it". In reality, entire Sunni villages probably are antiU.S. presense in Iraq, so the term "insurgent" does really deserve some serious scrutiny for the exact meaning. Does 70 insurgents mean 70 armed radicals who are a threat to American troops or to Shiite civilian community members, or does it mean that 70 less Sunni comunity members now exist? It begs a good working definition.

Iraq is a terrible mess, and the artificial constitutional time timetable imposed by the U.S. simply to be able to point out to an Iraqi succcess story for local American political consumption is hardly good for the long run stability of Iraq. Bush has decided to gamble his reputation on Iraq. And any political paper derived "success" that will distract the American public from the fact of nearly 2,000 American dead, thousands wounded, and a couple hundred billion dollars wasted seems to square with a philosophy heartset to manipulate American public opinion until things get better in Iraq, which seems less and less likely each depressing day. Peace and stability is as elusive as ever after the Iraqi constitutional vote, in which about 40% of voters decided not to even take part. Bush partisans will scream success from every American rooftop, meanwhile the real ground level situation in Iraq shows little noticeable change for the better.


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