Iraqi Constitution: a Fact Not Yet on the Ground
The Iraqi constitution is starting to look like a work forever-in-progress. Parliament was shooting for an approval deadline of midnight tonight; instead, it has adjourned without any plans to reconvene.
That means the Iraqi voters who are supposed to determine the constitution's fate in an Oct 12 referendum won't be building on any pre-existing political consensus. If the document is rejected, parliament has to reconvene and start drafting it all over again. Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr put in a public plea for national unity even though a rival Shia group attacked his Najaf office and killed four of his followers. "I will not forget this attack on the office ... but Iraq is passing through a critical and difficult period that requires unity," he told reporters in Najaf, according to MSNBC. "I urge the believers not to attack innocent civilians and not to fall for American plots that aim to divide us. We are passing through a critical period and a political process."
That's right: We may not have secured the Baghdad airport road, or created conditions of religious pluralism, or repaired the Iraqi infrastructure. But look: We made Muqtada al-Sadr a moderate. Mission, uhm, accomplished . . . . -- HOLLY MARTINS
Iraqi Constitution Talks Falter [MSNBC.com]