Once again, we have hosed the Kurds and appear to be tactily endorsing enshrining Sharia in the Constitution:
U.S. diplomats have conceded ground to Islamists on the role of religion in Iraq, negotiators said on Saturday as they raced to meet a 48-hour deadline to draft a constitution under intense U.S. pressure.
U.S. diplomats, who have insisted the constitution must enshrine ideals of equal rights and democracy, declined comment.
Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish negotiators all said there was accord on a bigger role for Islamic law than Iraq had before.
But a secular Kurdish politician said Kurds opposed making Islam “the”, not “a”, main source of law — changing current wording — and subjecting all legislation to a religious test.
“We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi’ites,” he said. “It’s shocking. It doesn’t fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state … I can’t believe that’s what the Americans really want or what the American people want.”
Washington, with 140,000 troops still in Iraq, has insisted Iraqis are free to govern themselves but made clear it will not approve the kind of clerical rule seen in Shi’ite Iran, a state U.S. President George W. Bush describes as “evil”.
In other news, the military is still planning for the long haul:
The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq — well over 100,000 — for four more years, the Army’s top general said Saturday.
In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the ”worst case” in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower if called for by slowing the force rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.
Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others who are in the chain of command will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility is to provide them, trained and equipped.
Although, after reading the first story, my initial reaction to the second piece is “Why bother? Just pull out and let the civil war start now rather than later.” Of course we can’t, but…