Monday, August 22, 2005
If true, this is potentially a Very Bad Thing
A draft constitution for Iraq to be presented to parliament on Monday will make Islam "a main source" for legislation and ban laws that contradict religious teachings, members of the parliamentary drafting panel said.
That sounds suspiciously similar to the Iranian form of government, in which nominally elected officials must conform to the edicts of religious leaders. It is the basis for a theocracy, which will ultimately turn into an authoritarian government.
Which parts of Shariah will be enforced? How will women obtain equal rights? How can homosexuals be protected from persecution, or, as we have seen in Iran in recent months, execution for their lifestyle?
What of those people who wish to worship Jesus? Buddha? Nobody? According to Islamic laws, they are second class citizens who must pay an additional tax for the privilege of living in a Muslim society.
This is bad. We should have gone in like Douglas MacArthur did in Japan. In the aftermath of WWII, MacArthur and the United States dictated Japan's new constitution and government with little substantive input from the Japanese. Rather than worrying about Japanese "cultural sensibilities" or "cultural imperialism", America decided to force a democratic government upon the Japanese and on terms that would give Japan the best opportunity for developing into a peaceful, prosperous country.
MacArthur gave little consideration to the centuries-old Japanese tradition of treating the Emperor as "God on Earth." He disregarded and in fact so totally rejected the long-standing Japanese militaristic tradition and culture that Japan's new military was named the "self-defense force" and did not send any troops to serve abroad for over fifty years.
Guess what? It all worked. Today, Japan is one of our greatest allies.
Iraq could be -- if we forced them to make a democracy that protects all Iraqis and places the rule of law ahead of the dictates of religion. Sadly, initial reports are that we have utterly failed to do so.