Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sunnis Discover Horse of a Different Color

differentThe Sunnis in Iraq have decided to support the new Constitution after a few minor last-minute concessions were made. According to an AP news story: "Iraqi negotiators reached a breakthrough deal on the constitution Tuesday, and at least one Sunni Arab party said it would now urge its followers to approve the charter in this weekend's referendum.
Under the deal, the two sides agreed on a mechanism to consider amending the constitution after it is approved in Saturday's referendum. The next parliament, to be formed in December, will set up a commission to consider amendments, which would later have to be approved by parliament and submitted to another referendum.

This is the point in the process where the Sunni leadership can no longer ignore the fact that, as the group with no oil in the part of the country they control, they have a strong interest in keeping the country together and the proposed constitution represents their best shot at doing so. Todays "breakthrough" agreement gives the Sunnis much needed cover allowing them to cave in while saving face. If we can have another referendum in a year, they can say, well then, that's a horse of a different color!

There is nothing wrong with this, of course. The US constitution was ratified after similar last-minute wrangling and we have the Bill of Rights to show for it.

Update 13 Oct 2005:

IRAQ THE MODEL is a good blog to read for an insiders view of Iraqi politics. Click the link for his take on the accord.

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