Monday, August 29, 2005

A Dangerous Constitution.

As you all know, the most pressing and controversial topic in Iraq is the Constitution. Watching the Iraqi news and following the reactions of the politicians in Baghdad and outside has given me great hope for the future, but at the same time great dread for the present.

Watching the Sunnis finally get involved publicly in the democratic process is wonderful to see. The fact that they are calling for the people in their regions to register and vote down the constitution is a welcome sign that they have finally realised that they will only secure their interests through peaceful and democratic means, and this can only be good for the rest of Iraq.

Another interesting thing that has come out of it is the open alliance between different and historically competing factions all uniting in opposition to this constitution. It seems that other than the Kurdish and Hakim’s/Ja3fari alliance, everyone else in Iraq is opposed to this constitution. And the reasons are quite clear. The major issue is the nature and powers of the Federal state visa-ve the Federal regions. The Kurds and the Shia coalition naturally support this idea as this guarantees their hold on power in their prospective regions, However for this same reason many Iraqis fear this proposed federal regional nature will inevitably lead to the break up of the country at some point down the line. I for one am not concerned with this point, as I don’t believe that federalism, when done correctly, will pose such a problem, however I do have major concerns with the articles and provisions written in the constitution regarding this. I also have great concerns for the future democratic nature of these regions because from what I have read so far the constitution does guarantee democratic rights in the election of the federal government in Baghdad ( through checks and ballances and power seperation of the president, prime minister, and the parliament), but does not guarantee any democratic elections in the federal governates. As it stands, powerful regional politicians can easily seez power and manupulate electoral and governmental matters to suit their positions and desires, and to make maters worst, it stipulates that these regional federal governets have the power to refute any demands from the central federal parliament and government in Baghdad to interfere in their regional affairs.. Here in lies the danger as I see it..

The constitution, if ratified, will allow a very easy path for regional dictators to set up shop in oil rich regions with little right for the democratically elected parliament in Baghdad to challenge these dictators or throw them out of office if need be..

Please read the constitutional text carefully, particularly the latter pages which deal with federalism and the power and electoral nature in these regions…

(Here is a translated text draft of the constitution courtesy of the associated press.) ..

In my oppinion more articles and provisions need to be added in the constitution to guarantee that those regions that become federal in nature are all subject to the same electoral and democratic rules that the parliament in baghdad will be subject to.. Or better still, that the presidents of these regions can only be chosen by the central federal parliament in baghdad subect to some agreed rules..that way we can guarantee freedome to all iraqis from the north to the south.....

Please post your oppinions and please read the draft carefully,,
Maybe I missed somthing.

Akba

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Steven vincent

I just fund out about Steven Vincent’s heinous and callous murder in Basra. My deepest condolences and sympathies go out to his family and loved ones.
I am so very very sorry.

Steven was a bright light in a dark world. He bravely bucked all the odds, when others were quick to leave Iraq as the going got tough. He bravely continued to tell the stories and challenge the situation. His Stories from Basra are the epitome of great journalism, and he will always deserves our admiration utmost gratitude.

As an Iraqi, I will never forget you Vincent. And soon all Iraqis will know your sacrifice. School children will know and remember you amongst all the brave souls who have given and continue to give their live so that they can have a brighter future.

I will try my best to preserve your articles and blog reports for the future. God bless you and may you rest in eternal piece.

Gratefully Yours,
Okba


Ps..I have not bloged for quite a while as I have decided to stay away from the news for my sanity. I’ve been so depressed and down lately, and this news is the worst. When will this nightmare end.