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Author Topic: New York Times Lies About Iraq
jeff house
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posted 22 August 2005 11:45 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was amazed to read, this morning, that despite all appearances, Iraqi leaders had agreed on a constitution. (I read it in the Globe and Mail, but it was a story reprinted from the New York Times.)

That story, headed "Leaders in Iraq Report Progress on Constitution", goes on to tell us that:

quote:
The Iraqis said they were hoping to finish the constitution by the end of the day on Monday, a deadline that they have already extended once. They scheduled a meeting of the National Assembly for Monday evening, when they hoped to present a finished constitution for approval.

Negotiators said they had agreed on a formula to share Iraq's oil wealth, which had been one of the most difficult issues. The agreement was being shepherded with the help of American officials, and especially the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad. After more than 12 hours of talks on Sunday, an American official said a deal was almost in hand.

"It looks like all the major issues are resolved, and we hope tomorrow we will work out the remaining details," said the American official, who, because of the diplomatic delicacy, spoke on condition of anonymity.


Well, that would be pretty amazing, if it were true. Far down the story, a few unsettling facts are mentioned:

quote:
A potentially more intractable problem in the long run was the disaffection of Sunni leaders, who have been largely excluded from the deliberations during the past week. The constitution has been written almost entirely by Shiite and Kurdish leaders, who said they had decided to leave the Sunnis out because they were being too inflexible.

In fact, the title of the article should be: "Iraq Constitutional Talks Break Down", or "No Agreement on Constitution Possible".

But that would make it clear that the US policy was a failure, and we can't allow that. (To its credit, the Globe removed the Filkins story from its website, at least, and has gone with a much more even-handed AP wire story.)


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 August 2005 12:28 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah. I don't seem able to get through to the Grope site at the moment to read the more neutral story.

Point of information (I'm being sincere, too, not taking pot-shots): Is Bob Rae still involved at this stage? What stage was he involved in?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 22 August 2005 12:31 PM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
he pushed long and hard for introduction of a Social Contract there
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pogge
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posted 22 August 2005 12:38 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's the link to the New York Times story.

And here's the story now on display at the Globe.

Negotiator doubts Iraq will meet constitution deadline

quote:
Baghdad — Hours before a midnight deadline, Shiites and Kurds reached an agreement Monday on a draft constitution and were trying to persuade Sunni Arabs to go along with their compromises, officials said.

But a Sunni negotiator said he doubts a deal on a draft constituiion for Iraq can be met "in the next few hours."

Negotiators met for about three hours Monday morning and convened again shortly after 4 p.m. at the home of Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in the Green Zone for talks Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman said would "be decisive." He said there was some progress in the earlier session.

A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said an agreement had been reached between the Shiites and the Kurds in the morning.

Those groups were now trying to sell the deal to the Sunni Arabs in the afternoon session.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 22 August 2005 01:36 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Meanwhile, Iraqi women are waiting with bated breath to see whether the men deciding the new constitution will limit the authority of Islamic clerics in resolving "family" disputes on matters such as divorce and inheritance.

"Maintaining secular authority over family matters," said the Filkins article, "is especially important to secular Iraqi women, who fear Islamic judges will strip them of the rights they now enjoy under Iraqi law."

In their eagerness to see a deal - any kind of deal - reached over the constitution, I don't imagine there will be any pressure from the United States to address the concerns of Iraqi women.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 22 August 2005 01:49 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The amazing thing is that the US invasion of iraq is so likely to bring about a Shiite state friendly to Iran, who friends of David Frum will recall, was another of the poles of the "axis of evil".

quote:
When President Bush spoke to the nation on June 28, he did not mention Iran's rising influence with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. He did not point out that the two leading parties in the Shiite coalition are pursuing an Islamic state in which the rights of women and religious minorities will be sharply curtailed, and that this kind of regime is already being put into place in parts of Iraq controlled by these parties.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18150


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 22 August 2005 02:27 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Theoretically the optics on that change if there is regieme change in Iran. Then one has a friendly Shia regieme in both countries.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 22 August 2005 02:41 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Apparently, they DO hate our freedoms: (but who are "they"?

quote:
The draft also stipulates that Iraq is an Islamic state and that no law can contradict the principles of Islam, Shiite and Kurdish negotiators said. Opponents have charged that last provision would subject Iraqis to religious edicts by individual clerics.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/22/AR2005082200101_pf.html


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 August 2005 02:46 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
M. Spector wrote:

quote:
In their eagerness to see a deal - any kind of deal - reached over the constitution, I don't imagine there will be any pressure from the United States to address the concerns of Iraqi women.

Well, we know how much attention Bush and Blair have paid to the heroic women of RAWA in Afghanistan (zilch).

And after Laura and Cherie made that cutesy propaganda film about bringing freedom to Afghan women and all.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 22 August 2005 04:50 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just read through the Transitional Administrative Law again, and some of it sounds downright otherworldly.

For example, the negotiators are presenting a draft Constitution to Parliament. The Sunnis say they are being left out of the process. What does the TAL say?

quote:
The National Assembly shall write a draft of the permanent constitution of Iraq. This Assembly shall carry out this responsibility in part by encouraging debate on the constitution through regular general public meetings in all parts of Iraq and through the media, and receiving proposals from the citizens of Iraq as it writes the constitution.

So, when did they have those "regular public meetings", again?


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 22 August 2005 08:20 PM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:

So, when did they have those "regular public meetings", again?


They had plenty of them. They just all happened in the US controlled "Green Zone" where you need a security pass to get into.

Really PUBLIC.


From: In Dig Nation | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 22 August 2005 08:44 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
And after Laura and Cherie made that cutesy propaganda film about bringing freedom to Afghan women and all.

I hear Laura and Cherie are collecting used toothbrushes for starving Afghan women and children.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 24 August 2005 10:04 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So this time, they "met their deadline" at 11:55 PM, (five minutes to spare!) but still needed another three days to "finalize" their work.

Juan Cole says it is illegal, a kind of coup of the executive over the Parliament, which has had basically no influence over the process, contrary to what the TAL requires:

quote:
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.

http://www.juancole.com/2005/08/coup-in-baghdad-unfinished.html

And the New York Times quotes the head of the Iraqi Bar Association, who said:

quote:
"I told them, you have no legal basis, and that we are not agreeing to this process. I told the American ambassador, too."


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 24 August 2005 10:09 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Legal, schmegal, I suppose. If the Americans say it's Ok to ignore all the previously written law then its OK. I think the Iraqis might be saying "look, if the Americans are making it up as they go along, why can't we?"

I think Bush will breathe a sigh of relief when they produce anything that walks, talks and quacks like a constitution. He'll waive it around like Chamberlain's scrap of paper which will give us peace in our time. Of course it will do no such thing, other than lead Iraq down the path to an Islamic state.

It would be comic opera if it weren't so tragic.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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Babbler # 518

posted 24 August 2005 10:16 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You are right that the transition is towards an Iran-like fundamentalist state.

And "legal-schmegel" does represent a reality, too.

The Transitional Law says that the Supreme Court has the right to strike down any legislation which
interferes with the enumerated fundamental rights and freedoms.

So, they simply have not named a Supreme Court.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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