Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Thursday, August 25, 2005


Birth of a Nation

Well, today's the big day in Iraq. After delay upon delay, today is the day they're supposed to have a version of their new constitution ready for a vote. This is not an easy task in a war-ravaged country so deeply divided, but they're working through their compromises. According to David Brooks in today's NY Times, they're doing a bang-up job and president Bush should be lauded for his help in drafting this tricky document.

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of the Bush administration, so when someone tells me that he's done something great, I sort of need to see it for myself. Which is why I contacted my sources in the Iraqi Parliament and had them fax me a copy of the final draft.

And all I can say I've read a lot of constitutions in my day, but this one makes them all look like The Articles of Confederation. This constitution balances the needs of diverse ethnic groups. This constitution finds a way to please both those who are looking to establish a theocracy and those who want a western-style democracy. This constitution, put simply, rocks.

I don't have the time to analyze the entire thing in-depth, but here's a quick list of some of the highlights:
  • Pays homage to all three major ethnic groups with the statement, "Sunnis are the coolest; Shiites are the prettiest and Kurds are the smartest. BFF!"
  • Requires a simple majority for the parliament to pass most laws, but requires a 75% approval when deciding where to order lunch.
  • Includes a strict "No Fat Chicks" law.
  • Names Air Supply's "Even the Nights Are Better" as the national anthem.
  • Establishes a "non-terrorists eat for free" rule at all Iraqi IHOPs.
  • On Casual Fridays, women don't have to wear burqas.
  • Creates a national school system . (The one problem I have with this is that they've decided to use Hooked on Phonics in their literacy programs.)
  • Includes, in Prime Minister's cabinet, both a Minister of Nachos and a Minister of Crazy Whooping.
  • Makes it illegal to invade them if your IQ is under 50.
  • Establishes only two national holidays, Sadie Hawkins Day and Cinco de Mayo.
I have to say, with a document like this as their starting point, I think this is going to be a country to watch for some time to come.