TITLE

Tough Shiite

PUB. DATE
March 2004
SOURCE
New Republic;3/22/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 10, p7
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Editorial
ABSTRACT
When five Shia members of the Iraqi Governing Council dramatically (if temporarily) refused to sign the provisional Iraqi constitution in March 2004, a senior American official dutifully told The Washington Post the walkout was no big deal. After all, the objections raised by the five council members had nothing to do with the laboriously negotiated provisions for individual rights enshrined in the provisional constitution, technically known as the Transitional Administrative Law. Rather, the Shia were trying to redraw the composition of Iraq's future presidency to increase Shia influence and protesting a clause giving the Kurds an effective veto over the country's yet-to-be written permanent constitution. But, the official explained, the United States was not worried: These sectarian disputes did not "relate to any of our red lines." Although the United States worked hard to guarantee the provisional constitution would bring liberalism to the Tigris--for example, by ensuring that Islamic law would not be the sole basis of legislation--it seems to have devoted shockingly little effort to mediating Iraq's deep ethnic and religious fissures.
ACCESSION #
12515476

 

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