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Iraqi's Show Their Pride After Voting on Iraq's Draft
Constitution on Saturday. Little Violence Was Reported.
Despite U.S. Mistakes, Iraq Vote 'a Small Step' Toward Victory
October 14, 2005
Kudos for U.S. Ambassador Khalilzad
There is no denying that from day one, Iraq's political process has been fraught with difficulties.
Since efforts began to write a Constitution that Iraqi voters will either
approve or reject, we have seen a number of shadowy activities and a conspicuous
bending of the rules. The initial drafting of the constitution illegally
continued past the August 15 deadline, the Parliament then tried to rig
the rules of the referendum so that it would be virtually impossible to
reject at the polls, and most recently, a committee agreed to amend the
draft constitution without the approval of the National Assembly. The end
result is that many Iraqis will not likely know what it is they are voting
for when they go to the polls.
In Line on Election Day
But despite these worrying facts, there
has been measurable progress toward establishing a political process. According
to the Sunni Endowment Movement, which recently decided to endorse the
Constitution,” Living under a flawed law is better than chaos and anarchy."
While the vote will not be the magnificent
victory for democracy that U.S. President George W. Bush will likely claim,
it will be a small step in the right direction. Much of the credit for
the modest recent success should go to U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad,
who has worked diligently behind the scenes to encourage an inclusive Iraqi
political process. His appointment marked an immediate departure from the
days of his predecessor, Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator
Paul Bremer, whose repeated mistakes contributed to the frightening divisions
we now see in Iraqi society. Unlike Bremer, Khalilzad has approached the
Iraqis with a cultural sensitivity gained through his extensive experience
in the region.
Nobody should expect that tomorrow's referendum
to solve all of Iraq's problems. The terrorists will continue their violent
activities and it will take much more time for a stable democracy to take
root. But it is essential that the United States continue to muster all of its diplomatic strength
to nurture the political process, so that more momentum is gained. We acknowledge
that the litany of past mistakes will make it exceedingly difficult to
make dreams of a democratic Iraqi State come true. But considering the alternative, it is still well worth
VIDEO FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD: SISTANI URGES IRAQIS
TO VOTE YES
Al Furat TV (IRAQ): Ayatollah Sistani's Representative Abd Al-Mahdi Karbalaai Calls on Iraqis to Vote "Yes" on Constitution, October 18, 00:02:42, MEMRI
"Many of the things included in the Constitution are very important for our people and our country."
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani's Representative
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