Monday, August 29, 2005

Khalilzad's Khonstitution

The latest outrage (or here) is that the United States 'caved in' on radical Shi'ite demands that Iraq have a constitution where canonic Islamic law is the fundamental basis of the laws of Iraq. Difficult as it may be to believe, this issue may actually be causing Bush some political problems in the United States, where Americans can see a contradiction between a constitution rooted in fundamentalist Islam and stated American goals on such issues as democracy and women's rights. In fact, the real story is even stranger. Kurdish politicians are criticizing U. S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for his role in pushing for an Islamic-based constitution. From a story in The Age (also here, and referred to by 'mondo' in my comments section; my emphasis in bold):

"The current working draft of the constitution stipulates that no law can contradict Islamic principles. In talks with Shiite religious parties, Kurdish negotiators said they had pressed unsuccessfully to limit the definition of Islamic law to agreed-upon religious principles.

The Kurds said current language in the constitutional draft would subject Iraqis to extreme interpretations.

Kurds also contend provisions in the draft would allow Islamic clerics to serve on the high court that would interpret the constitution. That would potentially subject marriage, divorce, inheritance and other civil matters to religious law, and could harm women's rights in particular, Kurdish negotiators and some women's groups said.

Mr Khalilzad had specifically supported those provisions, urging other groups to accept them, according to Kurds involved in the talks."

The reason for this is supposed to be the American desire to hurry the drafting of the constitution, but that doesn't make any sense as this issue was the cause of the main delay in producing the final draft. There was no longer any real deadline, as the drafting was already operating under an arguably unconstitutional extension, and could just as easily been extended again, and no American political deadline, as 99.999% of Americans could care less. Why did Khalilzad insist on the fateful words?

We've already seen that the Americans completely dominated the constitutional process by having English as the operating language of drafting. Zalmay Khalilzad went out of his way to push for language which matches the kind of legal system you would find in Iran. Khalilzad, a pure neocon (a founding member of PNAC), helped draft a constitution in his native Afghanistan that declared it an 'Islamic Republic' in which no law could contradict Islam (contrary to what they say, neocons like fundamentalist Islam). Now he's pushed for the words that will ensure that the constitution divides Iraq between Sunni and Shi'ite factions (the Kurds don't like the wording, but apparently are prepared to support the constitution), and in fact, divides the new Iraq from the entire Sunni world. It does, however, suit the Shi'ite fundamentalists who are close to the leadership of Iran. In fact, this new constitution was drafted by the Americans expressly to cause the country to break up, and lead to the new Iran-Iraq Shi'ite Empire, whose main enemy will be the world of Sunni Islam. Khalilzad's drafting is just another neocon trick to cause dissension in the Middle East between factions in Islam, thus benefiting Israel. The alleged pressure of time was a ruse to allow Khalilzad to force through the destructive language.