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Thursday, October 13, 2005


The Sunni Fig Leaf

Early this week Sunni politicians secured a deal with the Iraqi government to allow to further tweaking of the constitution (almost certain to be ratified on Saturday). The Washington Post carried a good piece about it here. Here's the key graf:

The major concession from Tuesday's talks was agreement by the Shiites and Kurds that a committee be created early next year to consider amendments to the constitution, if voters approve it Saturday, said Ali Debagh, a top Shiite official involved in the talks. Any changes recommended by the committee would have to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of parliament and a national referendum, Debagh said.

None of the commentary I've seen names this what it is - a fig leaf. The Sunnis tried everything, from boycotts to bombs, to prevent this new regime from taking hold in Iraq. They've now thrown in the towel, banking on the possibility that some of their concerns will get through a new committee and then pass a 2/3 vote plus a referendum. This is a major defeat for the Baathist remnant. This agreement was little more than a graceful way for the Sunnis to surrender their untenable position and enter the political fray as equals. A great day for Iraq.

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