2000 OR SO

It was officially announced on Tuesday.

The vote count for the nationwide referendum on ratifying the Iraqi Coinstitution is complete, and the measure has passed. The citizens of Iraq now have a structure for their democracy, and a vote to replace their interim government with a pemanent one will take place in December. Once that vote is complete, the first item of business will ber to amend the Constitution they just approved.

This might seem laughable but it is not unprecedented that a new constitution won its ratification only because of promises to make immediate changes if it were passed. A good example of this can be found by looking to New York City circa 1789.

The new Iraqi constitution has its problems. Though it does sy many of the right things about religious and other freedoms, it also pays too much homage to sharia law. It sets up a democratic government for the Iraqi people, but this is probably not a Constitution I would prefer to live under. The point of the matter is that I don't have to live under it. The people who do have voted overwhelmingly to pass it, and that is another milepost along Iraq's road to freedom.

I am truly amazed at how muich Iraq has progresses in such a short time. That country could have a very bright future, and might just halp democracy illuminate the entire region.

Rarely, however, is progress acheived withyout a cost. On the same day that the Iraqi Constitutions ratificatrion was announced, the AP reported that the number of U. S. servicemembers to die in Iraq had reached 2,000. The Department of Defense puts the number slightly lower, but this did not sop many opponents of the war to bemoan the cost in human life. The problem with them is that the number is their only argument that the operation is a failure.
Too many Iraqis now have their freedom, and we continue to advance democracy in the country. We cannot pull out of there now without the strong possibility of a breakdown in the area, which would have much more dire consequences for the U. S. than continuing the work until we are certain that the new way for Iraq has taken root and the country can take care of itself without our assistance.

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