I have been very interested to hear about the progress on the Iraqi constitution. Naturally most of the commentary was about how bad the constitution was and how it was a step backwards for the US. I keep hearing about a new Iran. Finally I read this article where there was something positive to say. I grant that David Brooks is one of the people who is more likely to agree with the president, but I have to agree with much of what he says because I had recognized the reality of the following quotes back when I reviewed No God but GOD:
“The Bush administration finally did something right in brokering this constitution,” Galbraith exclaimed, then added: “This is the only possible deal that can bring stability. … I do believe it might save the country.”
Galbraith’s argument is that the constitution reflects the reality of the nation it is meant to serve.
What’s important, Gerecht has emphasized, is the democratic process: setting up a system in which the different groups, secular and clerical, will have to bargain with one another, campaign and deal with the real-world consequences of their ideas. This is what’s going to moderate them and lead to progress. This constitution does that. Shutting them out would lead to war.
The men being quoted here by Brooks are Peter W. Galbraith, a former United States ambassador to Croatia and Reuel Marc Gerecht, formerly of the C.I.A. and now at the American Enterprise Institute.
I make no claim of special understanding regarding the Iraqi people or this draft of a constitution but we must have a constitution that fits the people that it is intended to govern. If these men that Brooks has quoted are right about the Iraqis and this constitution than I have to conclude that it is a good thing. If our American values see it as too much like Iran perhaps we would do well to remember that the Iraqis are much more like their Iranian neighbors than they are like us Americans from halfway across the world and that’s just fine with me. If we are attempting to remake them in our image then we should not be there in the first place because it will never happen.