Riverbend is back, writing her blog from Iraq. If you haven't read her before, start now. She took a long break from her blog, but has finally returned with some strong posts in the last few days, not the least of which is an excellent analysis of the Iraqi Constitution, the best I have seen.
Here a sample:
It is forbidden for Iraq to be used as a base or corridor for foreign troops.
It is forbidden to have foreign military bases in Iraq.
The National Assembly can, when necessary, and with a majority of two thirds of its members, allow what is mentioned in 1 and 2 of this article.
This one is amusing because in the first two parts of the article, foreign troops are forbidden and then in the third, they’re kind of allowed… well sometimes- when the puppets deem it necessary (to keep them in power). What is worrisome about this article, on seeing the final version of the draft constitution, is its mysterious disappearance- in spite of the fact that it leaves a lot of leeway for American bases in Iraq. Now, in the final version of the constitution, there is nothing about not having foreign troops in the country or foreign bases, at the very least. The ‘now you see it’/ ‘now you don’t’ magical effect of this article, especially, reinforces the feeling that this constitution is an ‘occupation constitution’.
One short piece, written on September 11, 2005, is heartwrenching. She describes the day of September 11, 2001 when she watched the two towers crumble on TV and worried, then, that the bombs would come her way, commenting "it's all they need." She ends this way:
It has been four years today. How does it feel four years later? For the 3,000 victims in America, more than 100,000 have died in Iraq. Tens of thousands of others are being detained for interrogation and torture. Our homes have been raided, our cities are constantly being bombed and Iraq has fallen back decades, and for several years to come we will suffer under the influence of the extremism we didn't know prior to the war. As I write this, Tel Afar, a small place north of Mosul, is being bombed. Dozens of people are going to be buried under their homes in the dead of the night. Their water and electricity have been cut off for days. It doesn’t seem to matter much though because they don’t live in a wonderful skyscraper in a glamorous city. They are, quite simply, farmers and herders not worth a second thought.
Four years later and the War on Terror (or is it the War of Terror?) has been won:
Al-Qaeda – 3,000
America – 100,000
The next time you hear someone say "we are all better off without Saddam Hussein," refer him to this.