Has Bush doublecrossed an ally? In February, th…

Has Bush doublecrossed an ally?

In February, the Iraqi Governing Council, which included all religious and ethnic groups, hammered out its only memorable work: a Transitional Administrative Law, which laid the groundwork for a constitution to be adopted later by elected officials in a sovereign state. Most important for Kurds, who have long been oppressed by an Arab majority, it established minority rights in a federal state – the essence of a stable democracy.

But as the UN resolution supporting that state was nearing completion, the Shiite Grand Ayatollah, Ali Husseini al-Sistani, suddenly intervened. He denounced the law as “legislated by an unelected council in the shadow of occupation”. He decreed that mentioning it in the UN resolution would be “a harbinger of grave consequences”.

The fact that Bush agreed to this goes to show exactly how highly they value their small allies. The fact that Bush agreed to this goes to show exactly how important democracy is to the whole Iraq process.

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