Morning Report 8/15/05
Iraq's Shotgun Wedding

Does this Shiite take this Sunni and this Kurd … ? Not yet.

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© IWPR

Final jeopardy: Cartoonist Abdel Khaleq Al-Hubar poses a battered Iraqi in front of a question mark labeled "the constitution." From the Baghdad daily Al-Mutamar, courtesy of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting's Iraqi Press Monitor.

Even without civil war, drive bombers, assassinations, 100-degree heat, and deadly sandstorms, writing a constitution from scratch would be tough. Especially a preamble. For the Iraqi pols scrambling at this very moment to meet today's deadline, here's a suggestion:

Now go on, get out of Baghdead before you get blown up.

Don't be tough on the Iraqis. Can you imagine what would happen if we had a constitutional convention in the U.S. right now?

Under the gun of foreign troops or not, we'd be arguing over the same issues: human rights, federalism, and religion. Especially religion.

The Christocrats who dominate Congress would insist that any constitution be Bible-based. They wouldn't settle for language saying that the Bible is "a source." No, it's "the source," as Indiana GOP congressman John Hostettler no doubt pointed out in his April 4 D.C. lecture "The Biblical Basis for Law."

And think of the gunfire there would be in this country during a constitutional convention. Only yesterday, Larry Mattlage, one of George W. Bush's neighbors down in Crawford, fired a shotgun to let Cindy Sheehan's gaggle of protesters know how he felt.

As Warren Veith of the Los Angeles Times reports on that report:

    The inhabitants of Camp Casey, the activists' tent village, said they were a bit shaken by Mattlage's blast, but considered it more a clash of cultures than a declaration of war.

    "This is Texas," said Bill Phillips, 48, a New Orleans social worker who spent the night at the site. "I kind of expect people to fire a gun off now and then."


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