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[casi] constitution; another poll; syrian UNSCR amendments

Hi all,

1) Many thanks to everyone who passed on information about the preparatory
constitutional committee. I won't feed all the minutae back to the list;
email me if you're particularly interested. One document that might
interest some of you is the report by the New Century Foundation at
It's one of the many, many compilations of advice by Western groups of
lawyers and constitutional experts, but it does at least provide a
comparison of some of the early proposals by Iraqi exile and Kurdish
groups. It also avoids some of the worst pitfalls which other western
proposals fall into (e.g. talking about the constitutional systems
'Washington' should introduce, or displaying a complete lack of knowledge
of and interest in Iraqi suggestions). The amount of Western arrogance
hovering around Iraq is truly staggering.

2) Another opinion poll has been carried out in Iraq, this time by Gallup.
There are several news reports of this (e.g.,4386,211625,00.html), but
I've not found many details of the poll itself. The gist seems to be
anti-american and anti-british, but pro-war. Draw your own conclusions.

3) This one's a bit old (it's from al-hayat on 12 sep), but I only came
across it today and it might be of interest:

Syria proposes changes to US draft resolution on Iraq

France, Germany, Russia and Syria have proposed amendments to a US draft
resolution on Iraq calling for giving the UN a pivotal role in rebuilding
Iraq politically and economically. The French and German amendments call
for withdrawing the powers of US administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer, while
the Russian proposals cancel the basic concept on which Washington insists:
the concept that the resolution is part of efforts to fight terrorism.
    Damascus, Moscow, Paris and Berlin proposed amendments to the US draft
resolution on Iraq in three separate papers to be discussed by the [UN]
Security Council members before the foreign ministers of the five permanent
members of the Security Council - the USA, Britain, Russia, France and
China - meet with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Geneva tomorrow. At
that meeting, the conferees are expected to discuss the draft resolution
and moves to lay down new bases for operations in Iraq.
    The Syrian amendments and observations which Al-Hayat learned about
object to placing the Iraq issue in the framework of the "war on
terrorism". They indicated that Resolution 1373, to which the US draft
resolution refers, does not apply to the situation in Iraq.
    The amendments state: "The threat to world peace and security does not
emanate from terrorist acts, as the draft resolution indicates, but from
mistakes made by the occupation authority, and mainly the dissolution of
Iraqi institutions, primarily the military and security establishments. The
threat also emanates from the lack of a clear and definitive timetable
assuring Iraqi citizens that the occupation will end and from the delay in
drafting a constitution and electing a national government."
    The Syrian amendments call for:
     - Allowing the UN to participate in rebuilding Iraqi economy, not only
to support the occupation authority's activity;
     - "Welcoming", not "endorsing" or "supporting", the interim Iraqi
Governing Council;
     - Cancelling the US draft resolution's paragraph which calls on the
region's states, namely Iraq's neighbours, to "prevent terrorists from
crossing into Iraq and ensure that terrorists receive no weapons and
funding that may support terrorism" on the grounds that this paragraph
implicitly accuses the neighbouring states of exporting terrorism to Iraq
to undermine its security;
     - Adding a paragraph under which the Security Council calls on "the
occupation authority to draw up a clear timetable to end the occupation";
     - Replacing the phrase "deploying multinational forces" with the
phrase "deploying UN forces under a unified command appointed by the
secretary-general and calling on the secretary-general to submit a report
on the formation, tasks and leadership of this force".
    The Syrian proposals differ from the Russian, French and German ones
with regard to the multinational force and drawing up a timetable to end
the occupation, but agree with them on the status of the neighbouring
states and key role of the region's states. [Passage omitted]
    Source: Al-Hayat, London, in Arabic 12 Sep 03

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