The Talking Dog

October 5, 2005, Four out of five dentists surveyed...

Sunnis-- and UN officials-- are furious at a last-minute change in the Iraqi constitutional referendum process, which appears designed to virtually guarantee passage of the constitution, according to this Grey Lady piece. The change means that 2/3 of registered voters in at least three of Iraq's eighteen provinces must vote to reject the proposed constitution in order to defeat it, a change from 2/3 of votes cast. The difference is obvious, given that it is Sunnis in heavily Sunni provinces likely to vote no to defeat the constitution, and I'm guessing there are three Sunni dominated provinces.

Given that the heaviest violence is in Sunni areas, it's not a stretch to imagine that a pick-up of the insurgency might keep people from risking their lives to vote in what they perceive as a rigged process anyway, and voila! From the standpoint of the Bush Administration, which is doubtless orchestrating the change, or certainly taking no steps to stop it, it's "Poof! Instant legitimacy!" For the Sunnis (and some annoying UN officials), it might not look quite like that of course.

But then, little else we have done since we acquired Iraq has appeared to be legitimate in the eyes of many (if not most) Iraqis. Which leads to the obvious question: why start now?