News from Iraq

Two milestones from Iraq today.

First you have the ratification of the Iraqi draft constitution. You may be sure that the slack-jaws at FreeRepublic view this as a great triumph for Iraq and the US. Hey, after all, the votes were 78% in favor!

Seventy-eight percent is nice, but meaningless. The majority Shiites drew up this Constitution and they had no trouble passing it. The only way the Constitution could be rejected is if 2/3 of the voters in any three provinces voted AGAINST it. That’s not exactly a ratification vote, right? Two-thirds against means that you only need 1/3 to vote to approve. Can you think of any other situation where a one-third vote is all it takes to approve something?

As it turns out, the three Sunni provinces voted AGAINST the Constitution. But only 2 count. The third province had 44% yes/55% no, which under the ratification scheme above, means YES.

So what. Sunnis are assholes, right. Saddam was a Sunni and the insurgency is run by Sunnis. But you can’t stack the deck against a political minority in a constitutional process. Why?

  US Iraq
Constitution approved by majority of 13/13 States 15/18 Provinces
Majority votes needed for passage 9 States 0 Provinces
Result: Oops! Stay tuned.

Despite compromise and unanimous ratification of the Constitution, the outcome was that the politically slighted (at least from their point of view) Confederacy plunged the country into the bloodiest war it has ever seen – we lost 2% of our population and more people than in all our other wars combined. We lost FEWER lives fighting for our independence, fighting Hitler, the Kaiser, losing Vietnam, losing our capital in 1812, dying in Korea, than we did over a Constitutional debate in our own country.

How can we expect any better from an Iraq that is already plagued with violence?

As if to underscore this point, the other milestone today is of course the 2,000th U.S. military death. Not as many as the wars I just mentioned, of course, but too many nonetheless. We also have more than 15,000 American soldiers injured to date. We’re going to end up losing more lives in Iraq than we did on 9/11 and we’re probably going to have dick to show for it.

W voters, please defend your vote. You’ve got a lot of scrubbing to do to get the blood off your hands.


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