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In "Black Coffee" mood: The Future of Iraq Excerpts re Iraqi constitution from : http://www.aei.org/events/filter.,eventID.642/transcript.asp AEI The Future of Iraq Black Coffee Briefing October 21, 2003 Transcript prepared from a tape recording 8:45 a.m. Registration 9:00 Panelists: Karlyn H. Bowman, AEI Danielle Pletka, AEI Gary Schmitt, Project for the New American Century Moderator: Reuel Marc Gerecht, AEI Keynote Address: Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) 11:00 Adjournment QUESTION: "... And, Danni [meant: Danielle Pletka], on the constitutional question, is there any merit in the idea of an interim Constitution? You talked about the stasis in trying to move the Constitution forward and about how the U.S. is not putting a model forward very assertively. Should the U.S. and the Coalition put into the hands of the Iraqis as good a Constitution as we can propose, but put a three-year sunset provision on it and say, in the interim, the elected Iraqi Government can revisit this and amend it? Our own revered Constitution of 1789, after all, is the second draft, and so it makes sense that one would want to revisit it after a few years. " ANSWER by Ms "oomph" Danni Pletka: " The Constitution, gee, I'm not a big fan of that idea, and I'll tell you why. If we give them something, it'll be immediately suspect and a lot of the good ideas will end up being thrown out because they were ours. There's been a lot of work done on the old Iraqi Constitution, the 1924 Constitution, and I think that a lot of that interim work can, in fact, be moved into place. But the truth is that the problem is not the crafting of the Constitution per se. There will be a lot of wrangling about the usual things that you would expect, that were wrangled over in Afghanistan, that will be wrangled over, in addition, in Iraq. Whether it's the role of Islam or it's the role of women or it's ethnic versus geographic federalism, there are just a whole variety of issues that are going to be fought about, and there's very little that we can do to pre-cook that. The real point is process, and it's a rarity when I'll say that, but the real point here is how do we get from here to there in expeditious fashion, but not so expeditious that we end up cementing the wrong things in place. And there's a lot of "to-ing and fro-ing" about that, and our biggest problem is that the U.S. Government's desired outcome, which I think is this sort of middle process of not having a grassroots election, but on the other hand, not having a totally appointed group of conveners who really have no mandate from the people and having some sort of hybrid of the two. The problem is that I don't know how much oomph we're willing to put behind it, and if we're willing to put that oomph behind it, how much we're working with our Iraqi partners to try and sell that across the board. In fact, I think that the process of "sell," if you will, is a very weak link. If it's a good idea, then Iraqis should be selling it throughout Iraq, and right now I think they're sort of sitting, and kind of talking, and not getting that done, and that's the biggest problem. " _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk