Iraq: Will federal constitution mean US bases stay?
Firstly, there seems trouble ahead for the thorny Article 2-a and 2-b of the Basic Principles. I am neither lawyer or Islamic scholar - but really - is it possible to accommodate the undisputed rule of Islam and the supremacy of democracy both at the same time? The scope for Montey Python style humor is limitless - but probably illegal in the UK.
CHAPTER ONE: BASIC PRINCIPLES
Article (1): The Republic of Iraq is an independent, sovereign nation, and the system of rule in it is a democratic, federal, representative (parliamentary) republic.
Article (2): 1st - Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:
(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.
(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy
Well, there's something to be said for a society that avoids the perils of over-legislation - and with articles 2 a and 2 b above Iraq will not be running the risk of becoming one of them.
Secondly, Article 7 below is testament to the fact that 'forgiveness' is not a central pillar of this draft constitution:
Article (7): 1st - Entities or trends that advocate, instigate, justify or propagate racism, terrorism, "tafir" (declaring someone an infidel), sectarian cleansing, are banned, especially the Saddamist [?] Baath Party in Iraq and its symbols, under any name. It will be not be [sic!] allowed to be part of the multilateral political system in Iraq, which should be defined according to the law.
- Sounds more like the NKVD than democracy rising from the ashes. Clearly there are good reasons why the following doesn't apply to Baathists - Saddamite ones or otherwise:
PART ONE: RIGHTS FIRST: Civil and political rights.
Article (14): Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination because of sex, ethnicity, nationality, origin, colour, religion, sect, belief, opinion or social or economic status.
Thirdly, those who maintain that coalition [read US] forces are never likely to leave Iraq completely might find their views supported in Chapter Four: Powers of the Federal Authorities - db emphasis:
CHAPTER FOUR: POWERS OF THE FEDERAL AUTHORITIES
Article (107): The federal authority will maintain the unity of Iraq, its integrity, independence, sovereignty and its democratic federal system.
Article (108): The federal authorities will have the following exclusive powers:
1st - drawing up foreign policy, diplomatic representation, negotiating international accords and agreements, negotiating and signing debt agreements, drawing up foreign sovereign economic and trade policies.
2nd - drawing up and executing national defense policy including setting up and operating the armed forces to ensure the protection and security of Iraq's borders and itdefensece.
3rd - drawing up financial and customs policy, issuing currency, organizing trade policy among regions and provinces in Iraq, setting the general budget for the nation, drawing up currency policies and establishing and administering a central bank.
Looks like it might amount to a blueprint for a large ongoing US presence in Iraq - to protect American interests and those of it's federal friends.