Iraq's New Draft Constitution
I know what you're thinking: Sure Iraq's new Draft Constitution may plunge that country into a vicious civil war that will kill hundreds of thousands - but what are the implications for the 2006 US congressional elections? I'm glad you asked.
The Constitution referendum is on Oct. 15th, and one of two things will happen that day: 1) the constitution will be approved, leading to a Shia-Kurd federalist government and a strong possibility of a long-lasting civil war between the Sunnis and everyone else, or 2) The Sunnis muster enough votes (66.6% in 3 of Iraq's 18 provinces) to block the constiution, at which point a new interim government will have to be elected by December 15, and they will then have at least a year to write a new draft constitution.
President Bush is firmly behind the first option and the new Draft even though just last week he was desperate to see it go down in flames (from above WaPo article):
The United States, in hopes of producing a constitution with widespread support that would take the steam out of the violent Sunni-led insurgency, worked furiously to avert this result to no avail. Bush even intervened personally earlier in the week.
So why is Bush so strong is his support of the potentially disastrous (subscription) Draft Constitution? Because option 2), while probably the better option for the long term stability of Iraq, won't produce a permanent government until well after the 2006 midterm elections, and Bush, despite his recent smokescreen of comments about staying the course, is almost certainly desperate to cut and run well before then. Democrats should support a Sunni rejection of the Draft Constitution not only because it would give the Sunnis an motive for politcal participation rather than simply more insurgent attacks but also because an ongoing Iraq occupation in 2006 might spell disaster for the Republicans in the Midterms. Much more on this in the coming days.