Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"I was going to say dude, I want my country back but I realized this doesn't really mean anything, which country do I want back? the pre-war oppression frappuccino or the post-war hell-on-earth macchiato .... confusing. I don't even know what an unflavoured Iraq tastes like.
shut up you fat whiner!
Speak of the devil. We were just talking about that.

Sorry , and my thanks to all of you

"Hello friends , Thank you all for your emails .
I am very sorry for the interrupting in posting for last two weeks , but it was beyond my
ability because I passed hard times that prevented me from posting or even reach internet cafe.Please don't worry about me , I will post soon in the next days
See you later."
Free Writer

last post from iraq

"Well friends, my time here is reaching an end. I am in my final days in Baghdad. This will be my last post from Iraq. Sometime in October you will hear from me again. If you would like, e-mail me at and I will make sure you are notified when I post again sometime in October. Boots In Baghdad will continue to be up and running from the states. I have a couple hundred pages of journal entries and thousands of pictures. I have a few ideas with what I am going to do with Boots In Baghdad. Regardless, it will be up."
Boots in Baghdad

The tragedy of Al-Kadhemyiah bridge in Baghdad

"Our deep condolences are to the families of the victims of the tragic event which happened in Baghdad today, where at least 900 people mostly Shiites were killed.

The tragic event happened while thousands of Shiites commemorating the death of Imam Mosa Al-Kadhem. This Imam was killed in Baghdad prison by poison by Haron Rashed the Abbasi Khalief about 1000 years ago. The Imam was known for his peaceful attitude even towards his enemies. Al-Kadhem means the one who can not be irritated or be able to control and suppress his anger no matter how difficult and big the problem is"

I'm going to have to turn off the radio.

They just announced that the death toll from hurricane Katrina could be in the thousands!
"Today Baghdad is witnessing a tragic disaster; hundreds have died and more were injured when huge crowds of pilgrims heading to the shrine of Imam Kadhom caused the fence of the A'imma bridge to collapse pushing people to fall into the Tigris river.

The news is still uncertain about the cause and casualty toll of this disaster but sources in the ministry of health say that around 640 people were killed in the incident."

Iraqi Constitution Draft

Iraqi Constitution Draft

Translated by the AP


We the sons of Mesopotamia, land of the prophets, resting place of the holy imams, the leaders of civilization and the creators of the alphabet, the cradle of arithmetic: on our land, the first law put in place by mankind was written; in our nation, the most noble era of justice in the politics of nations was laid down; on our soil, the followers of the prophet and the saints prayed, the philosophers and the scientists theorized and the writers and poets created.

Recognizing God's right upon us; obeying the call of our nation and our citizens; responding to the call of our religious and national leaders and the insistence of our great religious authorities and our leaders and our reformers, we went by the millions for the first time in our history to the ballot box, men and women, young and old, on Jan. 30, 2005, remembering the pains of the despotic band's sectarian oppression of the majority; inspired by the suffering of
Iraq's martyrs ? Sunni and Shiite, Arab, Kurd and Turkomen, and the remaining brethren in all communities ? inspired by the injustice against the holy cities in the popular uprising and against the marshes and other places; recalling the agonies of the national oppression in the massacres of Halabja, Barzan, Anfal and against the Faili Kurds; inspired by the tragedies of the Turkomen in Bashir and the suffering of the people of the western region, whom the terrorists and their allies sought to take hostage and prevent from participating in the elections and the establishment of a society of peace and brotherhood and cooperation so we can create a new Iraq, Iraq of the future, without sectarianism, racial strife, regionalism, discrimination or isolation.

Terrorism and "takfir" (declaring someone an infidel) did not divert us from moving forward to build a nation of law. Sectarianism and racism did not stop us from marching together to strengthen our national unity, set ways to peacefully transfer power, adopt a manner to fairly distribute wealth and give equal opportunity to all.

We the people of Iraq, newly arisen from our disasters and looking with confidence to the future through a democratic, federal, republican system, are determined ? men and women, old and young ? to respect the rule of law, reject the policy of aggression, pay attention to women and their rights, the elderly and their cares, the children and their affairs, spread the culture of diversity and defuse terrorism.

We are the people of Iraq, who in all our forms and groupings undertake to establish our union freely and by choice, to learn yesterday's lessons for tomorrow, and to write down this permanent constitution from the high values and ideals of the heavenly messages and the developments of science and human civilization, and to adhere to this constitution, which shall preserve for Iraq its free union of people, land and sovereignty.


Article (1): The Republic of
Iraq is an independent, sovereign nation, and the system of rule in it is a democratic, federal, representative (parliamentary) republic.

Article (2):

1st ? Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:

(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.

(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy.

(c) No law can be passed that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms outlined in this constitution.

2nd ? This constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and the full religious rights for all individuals and the freedom of creed and religious practices.

Article (3): Iraq is a multiethnic, multi-religious and multi-sect country. It is part of the Islamic world and its Arab people are part of the Arab nation.

Article (4):

1st ? Arabic and Kurdish are the two official languages for Iraq. Iraqis are guaranteed the right to educate their children in their mother tongues, such as Turkomen or Assyrian, in government educational institutions, or any other language in private educational institutions, according to educational regulations.

2nd ? the scope of the phrase "official language" and the manner of implementing the rules of this article will be defined by a law that includes:

(a) issuing the official gazette in both languages.

(b) speaking, addressing and expressing in official domains, like the parliament, Cabinet, courts and official conferences, in either of the two languages.

(c) recognition of official documents and correspondences in the two languages and the issuing of official documents in them both.

(d) the opening of schools in the two languages in accordance with educational rules.

(e) any other realms that require the principle of equality, such as currency bills, passports, stamps.

3rd ? Federal agencies and institutions in the region of Kurdistan use both languages.

4th ? The Turkomen and Assyrian languages will be official in the areas where they are located.

5th ? Any region or province can take a local language as an additional official language if a majority of the population approves in a universal referendum.

Article (5): The law is sovereign, the people are the source of authority and its legitimacy, which they exercise through direct, secret ballot and its constitutional institutions.

Article (6): Government should be rotated peacefully through democratic means stipulated in this constitution.

Article (7):

1st ? Entities or trends that advocate, instigate, justify or propagate racism, terrorism, "takfir" (declaring someone an infidel), sectarian cleansing, are banned, especially the Saddamist Baath Party in Iraq and its symbols, under any name. It will be not be allowed to be part of the multilateral political system in Iraq, which should be defined according to the law.

2nd ? The state will be committing to fighting terrorism in all its forms and will work to prevent its territory from being a base or corridor or an arena for its (terrorism's) activities.

Article (8): Iraq shall abide by the principles of good neighborliness and by not intervening in the internal affairs of the other countries, and it shall seek to peacefully resolve conflicts and shall establish its relations on the basis of shared interests and similar treatment and shall respect its international obligations.

Article (9):

1st _

(a) The Iraqi armed forces and security apparatuses consist of the components of the Iraqi people, keeping in consideration their balance and representation without discrimination or exclusion. They fall under the command of the civil authority, defend Iraq, don't act as a tool of oppression of the Iraqi people, don't intervene in political affairs and they play no role in the rotation of power.

(b) Forming military militias outside the framework of the armed forces is banned.

(c) The Iraqi armed forces and its personnel ? including military personnel working in the Defense Ministry and in any offices or organizations subordinate to it ? are not allowed to run as candidates in elections for political office. They should not engage in election campaigning for candidates and should not take part in activities forbidden by the regulations of the Defense Ministry. This ban includes the activities of the previously mentioned individuals acting in their personal or professional capacities, but does not include their right to vote in the elections.

d) The Iraqi national intelligence service shall gather information and assess threats to national security and offers advice to the Iraqi government. It is under civilian control; it is subjected to the supervision of the executive authority; it operates according to the law and to recognized human rights principles.

e) The Iraqi government shall respect and implement Iraq's international commitments regarding the nonproliferation, non-development, non-production, and non-use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Associated equipment, material, technologies, and communications systems for use in the development, manufacture, production, and use of such weapons shall be banned.

2nd ? Military service shall be regulated by a law.

Article (10): The holy shrines and religious sites in Iraq are religious and cultural entities. The state is committed to maintain and protect their sanctity and ensure the exercising of (religious) rites freely in them.

Article (11): Baghdad is the capital of the republic of Iraq.

Article (12):

1st ? The flag, emblem and national anthem of Iraq shall be fixed by law in a way that symbolizes the components of the Iraqi people.

2nd ? Medals, official holidays, religious and national occasions and the official calendar shall be fixed by law.

Article (13):

1st ? This constitution shall be considered as the supreme and highest law in Iraq. It shall be binding throughout the whole country without exceptions.

2nd ? No law that contradicts this constitution shall be passed; any passage in the regional constitutions and any other legal passages that contradict this constitution shall be considered null.



FIRST: Civil and political rights.

Article (14): Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination because of sex, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief, opinion or social or economic status.

Article (15): Every individual has the right to life and security and freedom and cannot be deprived of these rights or have them restricted except in accordance to the law and based on a ruling by the appropriate judicial body.

Article (16): Equal opportunity is a right guaranteed to all Iraqis, and the state shall take the necessary steps to achieve this.

Article (17):

1st ? Each person has the right to personal privacy as long as it does not violate the rights of others or general morality.

2nd ? The sanctity of the home is protected. They cannot be entered or searched or violated except by judicial decision and in accordance with the law.

Article (18):

1st ? An Iraqi is anyone who has been born to an Iraqi father or an Iraqi mother.

2nd ? Iraqi nationality is a right to all Iraqis and it is the basis of their citizenship.

3rd _

(a) It shall be forbidden to withdraw the Iraqi citizenship from an Iraqi by birth for any reason. Those who have had their citizenship withdrawn have the right to reclaim it and this should be regulated by law.

(b) Iraqi citizenship shall be withdrawn from naturalized citizens in cases stated by law.

4th ? Every Iraqi has the right to carry more than one citizenship. Those who take a leading or high-level security position must give up any other citizenship. This shall be regulated by law.

5th ? Iraqi citizenship may not be granted for the purposes of a policy of population settlement disrupting the demographic makeup in

6th ? Citizenship regulations shall be determined by law, and the proper courts should hear suits arising from the regulations.

Article (19):

1st ? The judiciary is independent, with no power above it other than the law.

2nd ? There is no crime and no punishment except by the text (of law). And there is no punishment except for an act that the law considers a crime at the time of its commission. No punishment can be enacted that is heavier than the punishment allowed at the time of the crime's commission.

3rd ? Trial by judiciary is a right protected and guaranteed to all.

4th ? The right to defense is holy and guaranteed in all stages of investigation and trial.

5th ? The accused is innocent until his guilt is proven in a just, legal court. The accused cannot be tried for the same accusation again after he has been freed unless new evidence appears.

6th ? Every individual has the right to be treated in a just manner in all judicial and administrative procedures.

7th ? Court sessions will be open unless the court decides to make them secret.

8th ? Punishment is for individuals.

9th ? Laws do not apply retroactively unless otherwise has been legislated, and this exception does not include laws of taxes and duties.

10th ? Punitive law shall not be applied retroactively unless it is best for the defendant.

11th ? The court shall appoint an attorney to defend defendants charged with a felony or a misdemeanor who don't have an attorney and it shall be at the state's expense.

12th _

(a) (Arbitrary) detention shall not be allowed.

(b) Arrest or imprisonment is not allowed in places other than those designated for that according to prison laws that are covered by health and social services and are under the control of the state.

13th ? Preliminary investigation papers shall be shown to the concerned judge no later than 24 hours from the time of the detention of the accused and cannot be extended except once and for same duration.

Article (20): Citizens, male and female, have the right to participate in public matters and enjoy political rights, including the right to vote and run as candidates.

Article (21):

1st ? An Iraqi shall not be handed over to foreign bodies and authorities.

2nd ? Political asylum to Iraq shall be regulated by law and the political refugee shall not be turned over to a foreign body or forcefully returned to the country from which he has fled.

3rd ? Political asylum shall not be granted to those accused of committing international or terror crimes or to anyone who has caused Iraq harm.

SECOND: Economic, social and cultural rights

Article (22):

1st ? Work is a right for all Iraqis in a way that guarantees them a good life.

2nd ? The law regulates the relation between employees and employers on an economic basis, while keeping in consideration rules of social justice.

3rd ? The state guarantees the right to form or join syndicates or professional unions. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (23):

1st ? Private property is protected and the owner has the right to use it, exploit it and benefit from it within the boundaries of the law.

2nd ? Property may not be taken away except for the public interest in exchange for fair compensation. This shall be regulated by law.


(a) An Iraqi has the right to ownership anywhere in Iraq and no one else has the right to own real estate except what is exempted by law.

(b) Ownership with the purpose of demographic changes is forbidden.

Article (24): The state shall guarantee the freedom of movement for workers, goods and Iraqi capital between the regions and the provinces. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (25): The state shall guarantee the reforming of the Iraqi economy according to modern economic bases, in a way that ensures complete investment of its resources, diversifying its sources and encouraging and developing the private sector.

Article (26): The country shall guarantee the encouragement of investments in the different sectors. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (27):

1st ? Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of every citizen.

2nd ? Regulations pertaining to preserving and administrating state property, the conditions set for using it and the cases when giving up any of the property may be allowed shall be regulated by law.

Article (28):

1st ? Taxes and fees shall not be imposed, amended, collected or eliminated except by law.

2nd ? Low-income people should be exempted from taxes in a way that guarantees maintaining the minimum level necessary for a living. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (29):


(a) The family is the foundation of society and the state should preserve its (the family's) existence and ethical and religious value.

(b) The state shall guarantee the protection of motherhood, childhood and old age and shall take care of juveniles and youths and provide them with agreeable conditions to develop their capabilities.

2nd ? Children have the right to upbringing, education and care from their parents; parents have the right to respect and care from their children, especially in times of want, disability or old age.

3rd ? Economic exploitation of children in any form is banned and the state shall take measures to guarantee their protection.

4th ? Violence and abuse in the family, school and society shall be forbidden.

Article (30):

1st ? The state guarantees social and health insurance, the basics for a free and honorable life for the individual and the family ? especially children and women ? and works to protect them from illiteracy, fear and poverty and provides them with housing and the means to rehabilitate and take care of them. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (31):

1st ? Every Iraqi has the right to health service, and the state is in charge of public health and guarantees the means of protection and treatment by building different kinds of hospitals and health institutions.

2nd ? Individuals and associations have the right to build hospitals, dispensaries or private clinics under the supervision of the state. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (32): The state cares for the disabled and those with special needs and guarantees their rehabilitation to integrate them in society. This shall be regulated by law.

Article (33):

1st ? Every individual has the right to live in a correct environmental atmosphere.

2nd ? The state guarantees protection and preservation of the environment and biological diversity.

Article (34):

1st ? Education is a main factor for the progress of society and it is a right guaranteed by the state. It is mandatory in the primary school and the state guarantees fighting illiteracy.

2nd ? Free education is a right for Iraqis in all its stages.

3rd ? The state encourages scientific research for peaceful purposes in a way that benefits humanity and it promotes excelling, creativity and the different manifestations of excellence.

4th ? Private and national education is guaranteed and regulated by law.

PART TWO:Freedoms

Article (35):

1st _

(a) The freedom and dignity of a person are protected.

(b) No one may be detained or investigated unless by judicial decision.

(c) All forms of torture, mental or physical, and inhuman treatment are forbidden. There is no recognition of any confession extracted by force or threats or torture, and the injured party may seek compensation for any physical or mental injury that is inflicted.

2nd ? The state is committed to protecting the individual from coercion in thought, religion or politics, and no one may be imprisoned on these bases.

3rd ? Forced labor, slavery and the commerce in slaves is forbidden, as is the trading in women or children or the sex trade.

Article (36): The state guarantees, as long as it does not violate public order and morality:

1st ? the freedom of expressing opinion by all means.

2nd ? the freedom of press, publishing, media and distribution.

3rd ? freedom of assembly and peaceful protest will be organized by law.

Article (37):

1st ? Freedom to establish and belong to political organizations and parties is guaranteed, and it will be organized by law.

2nd ? No person can be forced to join or remain a member of a political party or organization.

Article (38): The freedom of communications and exchanges by post, telegraph, telephone and by electronic and other means is guaranteed. They will not be monitored or spied upon or revealed except for legal and security necessity in accordance with the law.

Article (39): Iraqis are free in their adherence to their personal status according to their own religion, sect, belief and choice, and that will be organized by law.

Article (40):

1st ? The followers of every religion and sect are free in:

(a) the practice of their religious rites, including the (Shiite) Husseiniya Rites.

(b) the administration of religious endowments and their affairs and their religious institutions, and this will be organized by law.

2nd ? The state guarantees freedom of worship and the protection of its places.

Article (41): Every individual has freedom of thought and conscience.

Article (42):

1st ? The Iraqi citizen has freedom of movement and travel and residence within
Iraq and outside it.

2nd ? No Iraqi can be exiled or forced out or forbidden to return to his nation.

Article (43):

1st ? The state is keen to strengthen the role of civil society groups and to support, develop them and preserve their independence in accordance with peaceful means to realize legitimate goals. This shall be regulated by law.

2nd ? The state is keen to advance Iraqi tribes and clans and it cares about their affairs in accordance with religion, law and honorable human values and in a way that contributes to developing society and it forbids tribal customs that run contrary to human rights.

Article (44): All individuals have the right to enjoy the rights stated in international human rights agreements and treaties endorsed by Iraq that don't run contrary to the principles and rules of this constitution.

Article (45): Restricting or limiting any of the freedoms and liberties stated in this constitution may only happen by, or according to, law and as long as this restriction or limitation does not undermine the essence of the right or freedom.



Article (47): The federal legislative authority is made up of the Council of Representatives and the Council of Union.

FIRST: The Council of Representatives (Parliament).

Article (48):

1st ? The Council of Representatives is made up of a number of members at a proportion of one seat for every 100,000 people from the population of
Iraq. They represent the entire Iraqi people and are elected by general, direct, secret ballot, and they take care to represent all groups of people.

2nd ? A candidate for membership in the Council of Representatives must be a fully qualified Iraqi.

3rd ? Conditions for candidates and voters and everything connected to elections will be regulated by law.

4th ? The Council of Representatives will promulgate a law dealing with replacing of its members when they resign or are removed or die.

5th ? It is not permitted to hold membership in the Council of Representatives and another official position.

Article (49): Members of the Council of Representatives shall take the constitutional oath in front of the council before starting their work, as follows:

"I swear by God almighty to carry out my legal duties and responsibilities with dedication and devotion and to preserve the independence and sovereignty of Iraq and to look after the interests of its people and to see to the safety of its land, sky, water, wealth and democratic, federal system and to work to preserve the public and private freedoms and the independence of the judiciary and to abide by honestly and impartially implementing the legislation. God is the witness of what I say."

Article (50): The Council of Representatives shall establish an internal system to regulate its work.

Article (51):

1st ? The Council of Representatives should determine the correctness of the membership of a member by a two-third majority within 30 days of the registering of an objection.

2nd ? The council's decision may be challenged before the Supreme Federal Court within 30 days of the day it was issued.

Article (52):

1st ? Sessions of the Council of Representatives shall be public unless it is necessary to do otherwise.

2nd ? Sessions reports shall be published in the way the council sees fit.

Article (53): The president of the republic calls on the council to convene by a presidential decree within 13 days of the date that the results of the general elections have been certified. The session shall be held under the chairmanship of the oldest member, to elect the president of the council and his deputies. Extensions for more than the previously mentioned period are not allowed.

Article (54): In its first session, the council shall elect by absolute majority its president, then a first deputy and a second deputy by direct, secret balloting.

Article (55):

1st ? The duration of the council's cycle is four calendar years, starting with the first session and ending by the end of the fourth year.

2nd ? The election of a new Council of Representatives takes place 45 days before the cycle ends.

Article (56): The Council of Representatives has two legislative seasons a year, running for eight months. Internal rules will determine how they shall be held. The season in which the general budget is submitted to the council shall not end before it is approved.

Article (57):

1st ? The president of the republic, the prime minister, the president of the Council of Representatives or 50 members of the council may call for an extraordinary session, and the meeting shall be confined to the issues that have made it necessary to call for the session.

2nd ? The legislative season for the Council of Representatives may be extended for no longer than 30 days to accomplish the tasks that require this, based on a request from the president of the republic, the prime minister, the president of the Council of Representatives or 50 members.

Article (58):

1st ? Quorum for sessions of the Council of Representatives shall be reached by the attendance of the absolute majority of its members.

2nd ? Decisions shall be made in the Council of Representatives by simple majority, as long as it has not been stated otherwise.

Article (59):

The Council of Representatives is given the following duties:

1st ? Legislating federal laws.

2nd _

(a) Examining draft laws submitted by 10 of the council's members or by one of its specialized committees.

(b) Examining draft laws suggested by the president of the republic and the prime minister.

3rd ? Overseeing the performance of the executive authority.

4th ? Certifying treaties or international agreements by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council of Representatives, as will be regulated by law.

5th_ Approving the appointments of:

(a) the head and members of the Federal Cassation Court, the head of the General Prosecutors Office and the head of the Judiciary Inspection Department by absolute majority, based on the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council.

(b) ambassadors and those with special ranks, based on the recommendation of the Cabinet.

(c) the army chief of staff, his deputies and those who hold the title of division leader and up, the head of the intelligence service, based on the recommendation of the Cabinet.

6th _

(a) Questioning the president of the republic based on a request that mentions the reason for questioning, passed by an absolute majority of the Council of Representatives.

(b) Relieving the president of the republic of his duties by absolute majority of the members of the Council of Representatives after he has been convicted from the Supreme Federal Court in one of the following cases:

1 ? Violating the constitutional oath.

2 ? Violating the constitution.

3 ? Grand treason.


(a) A member of the Council of Representatives has the right to ask the prime minister and the ministers questions about any subject that falls under any their specialties, and each has the right to answer the members. He/she who asks the question is the only one who has the right to comment on the answer.

(b) At least 25 members of the Council of Representatives may propose a general topic for discussion to clarify the policy or performance of the Cabinet or one of the ministries, and it is then presented to the president of the Council of Representatives, and the prime minister or the ministers set a date to come before the Council of Representatives to discuss it.

(c) A member of the Council of Representatives, with the approval of 25 members, may direct an interpellation to the prime minister or the ministers to hold them accountable for the affairs under their specialty. Discussing the interpellation may not take place before seven days from the date it was submitted.

8th _

(a) The Council of Representatives may withdraw confidence from a minister by absolute majority, and he/she is considered removed from the date of the withdrawal of confidence. The issue of confidence in a minister can only be put forth at his request or because of a request signed by 50 members as a result of discussing an interpellation directed to him. The council may not decide on the request except after at least seven days from the day it has been submitted.


1 ? The president of the republic may submit a request to the Council of Representatives to withdraw confidence from the prime minister.

2 ? The Council of Representatives, based on a request from one-fifth of its members, may vote to withdraw confidence from the prime minister. This request may not be submitted except after an interpellation directed to the prime minister and after at least seven days from the submission of the request.

3 ? The Council of Representatives decides the withdrawal of confidence from the prime minister by absolute majority of its members.

(c) The Cabinet shall be dissolved in the case that confidence is withdrawn from the prime minister.

(d) In the case of a vote withdrawing confidence from the whole Cabinet, the prime minister and ministers remain in their positions to run the daily affairs for a period no longer than 30 days until a new Cabinet is formed.

(e) The Council of Representatives has the right to question and relieve the officials of independent associations from their duties according to the procedures relating to the ministers and by absolute majority.

9th _

(a) Approving the declaration of war and a state of emergency by a two-thirds majority, based on a joint request by the president of the republic and the prime minister.

(b) The state of emergency may be declared for 30 days, which may be extended by approving it each time.

(c) The prime minister shall be given the necessary powers to enable him to run the country's affairs during the period of a declaration of war or a state of emergency. These powers shall be regulated by law in a way that does not run contrary to the constitution.

(d) The prime minister presents to the Council of Representatives the measures adopted and the results during the period of a declaration of war or a state of emergency within 15 days from the time they have ended.

Article (60):

1st ? The Cabinet presents the general budget bill and the final accounting statement to the Council of Representatives for approval.

2nd ? The Council of Representatives has the right to rearrange between the parts of the general budget, reduce its total amount of money and it may, when necessary, propose to the Cabinet to increase general costs.

Article (61):

1st ? The rights and privileges given to the president of the Council of Representatives and his deputies and the members of the council shall be fixed by law.


a) A member of the Council of Representatives enjoys impunity that covers the opinions he expresses during the time of convening (the council); he shall not be sued before courts for this.

b) A member may not be arrested during the duration of the council's cycle unless he is accused of a felony and by the approval of the absolute majority of the members that he be stripped of his immunity or if he was arrested red-handed.

Article (62):

1st ? The Council of Representatives shall be dissolved by the absolute majority of its members, based on a request from third of its members or a request from the prime minister and with the approval of the president of the republic. The council may not be dissolved while interpellating the prime minister.

2nd ? The president of the republic calls for a general election in the country no later than 60 days after the council of representatives has been dissolved. In that case, the Cabinet is considered dissolved and it continues to run the daily affairs.

SECOND: The Council of Union.

Article (63):

1st ? A legislative council called the "Council of Union" will be established and will include representatives of regions and provinces to examine bills related to regions and provinces.

2nd ? The makeup of the council, the conditions for membership and all things related to it will be organized by law.


Article (64): The federal executive authority consists of the president of the republic and the Cabinet. It carries out its authorities based on the constitution and the law.

FIRST, The President.

Article (65): The president of the republic is the president of the country and the symbol of the nation's unity and represents the sovereignty of the country and oversees the guarantees of adherence to the constitution, the preservation of
Iraq's independence and unity and the security of its territory, in accordance to the law.

Article (66): The candidate for the president's post must:

1st ? be Iraqi by birth from Iraqi parents.

2nd ? be legally competent and have reached the age of 40.

3rd ? have a good reputation and political experience and be known for his integrity, rectitude, justice and devotion to the homeland.

4th ? not have been convicted of a crime that violates honor.

Article (67): The rules of nomination for the president's post shall be regulated by law.

Article (68):

1st ? The Council of Representatives selects from among the candidates a president of the republic by a two-thirds majority.

2nd ? If no single candidate gets the required majority, the two candidates with the highest votes will compete and whoever wins a majority of votes in the second round is declared president of the republic.

Article (69): The president of the republic is sworn in in front of the Council of Representatives, using the wording mentioned in article 49 in the constitution.

Article (70):

1st ? The term of president of the republic is limited to 4 years.

2nd ? The Council of Representatives elects a new president for the republic, three months before the end of the former president's term.

Article (71): The president of the republic enjoys the following powers:

(a) issuing special amnesty, upon a recommendation from the prime minister, to pardon those convicted in international crimes, terrorism, financial or administrative corruption or crimes against personal rights.

(b) endorsing treaties and international agreements following approval by the Council of Representatives.

(c) endorsing and issuing laws enacted by the Council of Representatives. They are considered validated 15 days after the date they were sent to him.

(d) calling for the elected Council of Representatives to convene within a period not exceeding 15 days from the date that election results are ratified, and in other cases stated in the constitution.

(e) awarding medals and badges upon recommendation of the prime minister and in accordance with the law.

(f) receiving ambassadors.

(g) issuing republican protocols.

(h) endorsing execution verdicts issued by the proper courts

(i) taking leadership of the armed forces for ceremonial and commemoration purposes.

(j) practicing any other presidential powers mentioned in the constitution.

Article (72): The law determines the salary and allowances for the president of the republic.

Article (73):

1st ? The president of the republic can present a written resignation to the prime minister, and it is considered valid after seven days of the date it is lodged to the Council of Representatives.

2nd ? A "deputy" of the president of the republic replaces the president during his absence.

3rd ? The deputy of the president of the republic replaces the president of the republic when the post is empty for any reason, and the Council of Representatives has to elect a new president within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date the post is vacant

4th ? In the case when the post of the president of the republic is vacant, the president of the Council of Representatives replaces the president if there is no deputy for him, and a new president should be elected in a period not exceeding 30 days from the time the position is vacant, according to the laws of the constitution.

SECOND, The Cabinet.

Article (74):

1st ? The president assigns the candidate of the parliamentary majority to form a Cabinet during the first 15 days from the date of the first session of the Council of Representatives.

2nd_ The prime minister is assigned to name members of his Cabinet within a period of 30 days, at the longest, from the date of the assignment.

3rd ? The president assigns a new candidate to be the prime minister within 15 days if the prime minister assigned form the cabinet during the period mentioned in the 2nd Clause fails.

4th ? The assigned prime minister presents the names of the members of his cabinet and its ministerial platform to the Council of Representatives. He is considered to have won confidence when his ministers are approved individually and his ministerial platform is approved by an absolute majority.

5th ? The president will take up the assigning of another candidate to form a cabinet within 15 days if the Cabinet does not win confidence.

Article (75):

1st ? The prime minister must meet the conditions set for the president of the republic. He must have a university degree or an equivalent and must be no younger than 35.

2nd ? Ministers must meet the same conditions set for candidates to the Council of Representatives. A minister must have a university degree or an equivalent.

Article (76): The prime minister is the direct executive responsible for the general policy of the nation, the general commander of the armed forces and carries out the administration of the Cabinet and presides over its sessions. The prime minister has the right to remove ministers, with the consent of the Council of Representatives.

Article (77): The prime minister and the ministers carry out the constitutional oath of office before the Council of Representatives in the manner laid out in Article (49) of the constitution.

Article (78): The Cabinet carries out the following duties:

1st ? planning and implementing the general policy of the state; general plans; supervising the work of the ministers and offices not subordinate to a ministry.

2nd ? proposing draft laws.

3rd ? issuing regulations, instructions and decisions to implement the laws.

4th ? preparing the draft of the general budget and the final accounting statement and development plans.

5th ? recommending to the Council of Representatives for approval the appointments of undersecretaries of ministers, ambassadors, those who have special ranks; the army chief of staff, his deputies and those who are division leaders or higher; the head of the national intelligence service and the heads of the security apparatuses.

6th ? negotiating treaties and international agreements and signing them or designating someone to sign.

Article (79):

1st ? The president of the republic becomes the acting prime minister when the position is empty for any reason.

2nd ? The president of the republic must name another prime minister within no more than 15 days and in accordance with the provisions of Article 74 in this constitution.

Article (80): The salaries and allowances of the prime minister and the ministers and those at their rank shall be fixed by law.

Article (81): The responsibility of the prime minister and the ministers before the Council of Representatives shall be collective and personal.

Article (82):

1st ? The work of the security apparatuses and the intelligence service shall be fixed by law; their duties and powers shall be specified and they shall work according to the principles of human rights and shall be subjected to the supervision of the Council of Representatives.

2nd ? The national intelligence service is tied to the Cabinet.

Article (83): The Cabinet shall lay down a system of internal rules to regulate its work.

Article (84): The forming of ministries and their functions and responsibilities and the powers of the minister shall be regulated by law.


Article (85): The judiciary is independent and will be represented by courts of different kinds and levels, and they will issue their rulings according to law.

Article (86): Judges are independent, with no authority over them in their rulings except the law. No authority can interfere in the judiciary or in the affairs of justice.

Article (87): The federal judiciary will include the Supreme Judiciary Council, the Supreme Federal Court, the Federal Cassation Court, the Prosecutor's Office, the Judiciary Inspection Department and other federal courts that are organized by law.

FIRST: The Supreme Judiciary Council

Article (88): The Supreme Judiciary Council will administer judicial affairs in accordance with the law.

Article (89): The Supreme Judiciary Council will exercise the following powers:

1st ? administering and supervising the federal judiciary system.

2nd ? nominating the head and members of the Supreme Federal Court and presenting their names to parliament for endorsement.

3rd ? nominating the head of the Federal Cassation Court, the chief prosecutor and the head of the Judiciary Inspection Department, and presenting them to parliament for approval.

4th ? proposing the annual budget for the federal judiciary system and presenting it to parliament for approval.

SECOND: The Supreme Federal Court

Article (90):

1st ? The Supreme Federal Court is an independent judicial body, financially and administratively, its work and its duties will be defined by law.

2nd ? The Supreme Federal Court will be made up of a number of judges and experts in Sharia (Islamic Law) and law, whose number and manner of selection will be defined by a law that should be passed by two-thirds of the parliament members.

Article (91): The Supreme Federal Court will have the following duties:

1st ? overseeing the constitutionality of federal laws before they are issued.

2nd ? overseeing the constitutionality of the laws and standing regulations.

3rd ? interpreting the text of the constitution.

4th ? ruling in cases that emerge from the implementation of federal laws.

5th ? ruling in disputes between the federal government and the governments of the regions and the provinces and local administrations.

6th ? ruling in disputes between the governments of the regions or provinces.

7th ? ruling in accusations against the president of the republic, the prime minister and the ministers.

8th ? endorsing the final results of parliamentary general elections.

Article (92):

Resolutions of the Supreme Federal Court are binding for all authorities.

THIRD: General Provisions:

Article (93): Establishing private or exceptional courts is forbidden.

Article (94): The law shall regulate the establishment of courts, their kinds, degrees, duties and the means of appointing judges, members of the General Prosecutors Office, the provisions for disciplining them and moving them into retirement.

Article (95): Judges shall not be impeached except in the cases determined by law; the law will also specify the rules pertaining to them and regulate disciplinary actions against them.

Article (96): It is forbidden for a judge or a member of the prosecution to:

1st _simultaneously hold a judicial position and a legislative or executive position or any other job.

2nd ? belong to any party or political organization or engage in any political activity.

Article (97): The military judiciary shall be fixed by law and the responsibilities of the military courts, which are limited to crimes with a military nature committed by members of the armed forces and security forces, shall be specified within the limits of the law.

Article (98): It is forbidden to legislate into a law provisions protecting any administrative action or decision from being challenged in court.

Article (99): It is permissible by law to establish a state council to handle the tasks of the administrative judiciary, advising, phrasing, representing the state and all other public associations in front of the judiciary, except what the law exempts.


Article (100): The Supreme Commission for Human Rights and the Supreme Independent Commission for Elections and the Integrity Agency are considered independent associations subject to the supervision of the Council of Representatives. Their work is regulated by law.

Article (101):

1st ? The Iraqi Central Bank, the Financial Inspection Office, the media and communications agency, and the offices of (religious) endowments are considered financially and administratively independent associations. Each of their activities is regulated by law.

2nd ? The Iraqi central bank is responsible before the Council of Representatives, and the Financial Inspection Office and the media and communications agency are tied to the Council of Representatives.

3rd ? Offices of endowments are affiliated to the Cabinet

Article (102): An agency shall be established called the Institution of the Martyrs, affiliated to the Cabinet, and its operations and powers will be regulated by law.

Article (103): A public agency will be founded to guarantee the right of the regions and of provinces that do not belong to a region to fair participation in the administration of the various federal state institutions, missions, fellowships, delegations and regional and international conferences. It shall be made up of representatives of the federal government, regions and provinces that do not belong to a region, and it shall be regulated by law.

Article (104): A general body shall be established by law to monitor and allocate federal incomes; the body shall consist of experts from the federal government, the regions and the provinces and representatives from them. It should shoulder the following responsibilities:

1st ? verifying fairness in distribution of international grants, aid and loans based on what the regions and the provinces that do not belong to a region deserve.

2nd _ensuring that federal financial resources are being used and distributed in the best way.

3rd ? ensuring transparency and justice when allocating money to the regional governments and provinces according to the decided ratios.

Article (105): A council, to be called the federal public service council, shall be established and it shall be responsible for regulating the affairs of the federal public office, including appointments and promotions. Its formation and responsibilities shall be regulated by a law.

Article (106): It is allowed to establish other independent associations according to need and necessity and by law.


Article (107): The federal authority will maintain the unity of
Iraq, its integrity, independence, sovereignty and its democratic federal system.

Article (108): The federal authorities will have the following exclusive powers:

1st ? drawing up foreign policy, diplomatic representation, negotiating international accords and agreements, negotiating and signing debt agreements, drawing up foreign sovereign economic and trade policies.

2nd ? drawing up and executing national defense policy including setting up and operating the armed forces to ensure the protection and security of Iraq's borders and its defense.

3rd ? drawing up financial and customs policy, issuing currency, organizing trade policy among regions and provinces in Iraq, setting the general budget for the nation, drawing up currency policies and establishing and administering a central bank.

4th ? organizing issues of weights and measures.

5th ? organizing issues of nationality and naturalization, residence and asylum rights.

6th ? organizing a policy of broadcast wavelengths and the mail.

7th ? setting the general and investment budgets.

8th ? planning policies connected to water resources from outside Iraq and guaranteeing levels of water flow into Iraq, according to international law and custom.

9th ? conducting the general census of the population.

Article (109): Oil and gas is the property of all the Iraqi people in all the regions and provinces.

Article (110):

1st ? The federal government will administer oil and gas extracted from current fields in cooperation with the governments of the producing regions and provinces on condition that the revenues will be distributed fairly in a manner compatible with the demographical distribution all over the country. A quota should be defined for a specified time for affected regions that were deprived in an unfair way by the former regime or later on, in a way to ensure balanced development in different parts of the country. This should be regulated by law.

2nd ? The federal government and the governments of the producing regions and provinces together will draw up the necessary strategic policies to develop oil and gas wealth to bring the greatest benefit for the Iraqi people, relying on the most modern techniques of market principles and encouraging investment.

Article (111): All that is not written in the exclusive powers of the federal authorities is in the authority of the regions. In other powers shared between the federal government and the regions, the priority will be given to the region's law in case of dispute.

Article (112): The following duties will be shared by the federal and regional authorities:

1st ? administering and organizing customs, in coordination with the regional government, and this will be regulated by law.

2nd ? organizing and distributing the main electrical power resources.

3rd ? drawing up environmental policy to guarantee the protection of the environment from pollution and the preservation of its cleanliness, in cooperation with the regions.

4th ? drawing up general planning and development policies.

5th ? drawing up general health policy, in cooperation with the regions.

6th ? drawing up general education and childrearing policy, in consultation with the regions.


Article (113): The federal system in the republic of
Iraq is made up of the capital, regions, decentralized provinces, and local administrations.

Article (114):

1st ? The regions comprise one province or more, and two regions or more have the right to join into one region.

2nd ? One province or more have the right to form a region, based on a request for a referendum, which can be presented in one of two ways:

a) a request by a third of the members of each of the provincial councils in the provinces that desire to form a region.

b) a request by 1/10 (one-tenth) of the voters in each of the provinces that desire to form a region.

3rd _

a) The general referendum is held among the residents of the particular provinces concerned with what is referred to in "1st" of this article. The referendum takes place when the provincial councils are in session, and the referendum is considered a success with the agreement of the majority of voters.

b) the referendum is not repeated, unless 2/3 (two-thirds) of the members in each of the provincial councils, or 1/4 (one-quarter) of the concerned provinces' residents, put forward a request for a new referendum.

Article (115): The authorities of each region include legislative, executive and judicial authorities.

Article (116):

1st ? The governments of regions have the right to practice legislative, executive and judicial powers according to this constitution, except in what is listed as exclusive powers of the federal authorities.

2nd ? The regional authority has the right to amend the implementation of the federal law in the region in the case of a contradiction between the federal and regional laws in matters that do not pertain to the exclusive powers of the federal authorities.

3rd ? It is permissible to delegate the authorities practiced by the federal government to the regional governments and vice versa, with the approval of both.

4th ? A fair share of the revenues collected federally is designated to regions, in a way that suffices their duties and obligations, taking into consideration the (region's) resources and needs.

5th ? Offices for regions and provinces are to be established in embassies and diplomatic missions to follow up on cultural, social and local development affairs.


Article (117): The legislative authority of a region consists of one council called the National Council for the Region.

Article (118):

Members of the National Council for the Region are elected by residents of the region through universal direct secret ballot.

Article (119):

1st ? The National Council for the Region devises the regional constitution, stipulates laws, in a way that does not contradict with this constitution and the federal laws.

2nd ? The regional constitution is put up for a referendum to the residents of the region and becomes effective after approval by a majority and its publication in the official newspaper.


Article (120): The executive authority is made up of the president of the region and the regional cabinet.

Article (121): The executive authority carries out its responsibilities as designated in the regional constitution, in a way that does not contradict this constitution.

FIRST: The president of the region

Article (122): The president of the region is the highest executive president in the region.

Article (123): The president of the region is elected according to the constitution of the region.

Article (124): The constitution of the region determines the responsibilities of the president and the authorities designated to the regional constitutional agencies in a way that does not contradict this constitution.

SECOND: The Cabinet of the region

Article (125): The Cabinet is the highest executive authority in the region and practices its authorities under the supervision and guidance of the president of the region.

Article (126): The Cabinet consists of the prime minister and a number of ministers set according to the constitution of the region.

Article (127): The Cabinet practices the authorities accorded to it following the constitution of the region.

Article (128):

1st ? The revenues of the region are made up of its designated share from the state budget and from the region's local resources.

2nd ? The Cabinet of the region prepares the annual budget for the region and the final expense account, and a law is issued for them by the National Council for the Region. The Cabinet presents a copy of the region's general budget and the final expense account to the federal finance ministry, after they are approved by the National Council for the region.

Article (129): The region's government is responsible for all that is required to manage the region, in particular establishing and organizing internal security forces for the region such as police, security and regional guards.


Article (130): The judicial authority of the region consists of the judicial council of the region, the courts, the prosecutors offices, and the regional court of cassation is considered the highest judicial authority in the region.

Article (131): The types of courts, their levels and specializations are organized according to the judicial authority law of the region, provided it does not contradict this constitution.


Article (132):

1st ? Provinces consist of districts, counties and villages.

2nd ? Provinces that were not included into a region are given extensive administrative and financial authorities to enable them to self-manage according to the principal of administrative decentralization, and this is regulated by law.

3rd ? The provincial governor, who is elected by the provincial council, is considered the highest executive president of the province to carry out the responsibilities designated to him by the council.

4th ? The election of the provincial council, the governor and their authorities will be regulated by law.

5th ? The provincial council is not subject to the domination or the supervision of any ministry or any party unrelated to a ministry, and it has its independent finances.

Article (133): It is permissible to delegate the federal government's authorities to the provinces or vice versa, with the two parties' approval, and this is regulated by law.


Article (134): Baghdad with its administrative boundaries is the capital of the republic of Iraq, and it consists of the province of Baghdad with its administrative boundaries, and its status is regulated through a law.


Article (135): This constitution guarantees the administrative, political, cultural, educational rights for the various ethnicities such as Turkomen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and the other components, and this is regulated through a law.



Article (136):

1st ? The president of the republic and the Cabinet together, or one- fifth of the members of the Council of Representatives, can suggest amending the constitution.

2nd ? The basic principles of the constitution mentioned in Chapter One of this constitution cannot be amended, except after two consecutive parliament cycles and based on the consent of two-thirds of the members of the Council of Representatives, a public referendum and the endorsement of the president of the republic within seven days.

3rd ? Other items not covered by the 2nd clause of this article can only amended by two-thirds of the members of the Council of Representatives, the consent of the people in a general referendum and the endorsement of the president within seven days.

4th ? No amendment is allowed that lessens the powers of the regions that are not among the exclusive powers of the federal authority, except with the agreement of the legislative council of the concerned region and the consent of a majority of its population in a general referendum.

5th ? An amendment is considered in effect upon the date of its publication in the official gazette.

Article (137): It is not permitted for the president of the republic, the prime minister and Cabinet, the president of the Council of Representatives and its members and delegates, members of the judicial authority and holders of special positions to use their influence to buy or rent anything from the finances of the state or to sell or rent to the state anything from their own finances or to bring suit against the state over these things or to strike contracts with the state in their capacity as concessionairies, importers or contractors.

Article (138) : Laws and judicial rulings are issued in the name of the people.

Article (139): Laws are published in the official gazette, and are in effect from the publishing date as long as it is not legislated otherwise.

Article (140): Legislation remains in effect as long as it is not nullified or amended in accordance to the rules of this constitution.

Article (141): Every referendum mentioned in this constitution is passed by a simple majority unless mentioned otherwise.


Article (142):

1st ? The state guarantees the welfare of political prisoners and those who were harmed by the practices of the former dictatorial regime.

2nd ? The state guarantees compensation to the families of martyrs and those who were wounded by terrorist acts.

3rd ? What is provided for in these first and second clauses will be regulated by law.

Article (143): The Council of Representatives shall rely in its first session on the internal organization of the Transitional National Assembly until its own internal organization is decided.

Article (144): The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Court will continue its activities as an independent judicial agency, looking into the crimes of the dictatorial regime and its leading figures. The Council of Representatives can dissolve it by law once its work is finished.

Article (145):

1st ? The National De-Baathification Committee will continue its work as an independent body in coordination with the judiciary and the executive authorities in the framework of law regulating its work. The committee is linked to the Parliament.

2nd ? The Council of Representatives can dissolve the committee after it finishes its work.

3rd ? It is a condition upon candidates for the positions of president of the republic, prime minister, ministers, parliament speaker and parliament members, head of the Federal Council and its members and all similar posts in the regions, and members of the judiciary and other posts included under de-Baathification, that they not be included under the provisions of de-Baathification.

4th ? The condition mentioned in the 3rd clause of this article will remain in effect until it is abolished by law.

Article (146):

1st ? The Property Claims Agency will continue its operations as an independent body in coordination with judicial authorities and executive bodies in accordance with the law, and it is linked to the Council of Representatives.

2nd ? The Council of Representatives can dissolve the agency by a two-thirds majority.

Article (147): Rules in articles concerning the Council of Union wherever they appear in this constitution will not come into effect until a decision is reached by the Council of Representatives, with a two-thirds majority, in its second cycle following the enactment of this constitution.

Article (148):

1st ? The phrase (Presidential Council) replaces the phrase (President of the Republic) wherever it appears in this constitution, and regulations concerning the president of the republic will come into effect after one session following the enactment of this constitution.

2nd _

(a) The Council of Representatives will elect a president for the nation and two deputies for him to form a council called the Presidential Council. It will be elected in one list with a two-thirds majority.

(b) The rules for removing the president of the republic in this constitution apply to the president and members of the Presidential Council.

(c) The Council of Representatives can remove any member of the Presidential Council for reasons of lack of competence or integrity with a three-quarters majority vote by its members.

(d) If any position in the Presidential Council should come empty, the Council of Representatives shall elect a replacement by a two-thirds majority.

3rd ? Members of the Presidential Council must meet the same conditions as those for a member of the Council of Representatives, that they must:

(a) have reached 40 years of age.

(b) possess a good reputation, integrity and uprightness.

(c) have left the dissolved party at least 10 years before its fall if they were members in it.

(d) not have participated in the repression of the 1991 Uprising or the Anfal Campaign or have committed any crime against the Iraqi people.

4th ? The Presidential Council must take its decisions unanimously, and any member can delegate his position to one of the other two members.

5th _

(a) Laws and resolutions passed by the Council of Representatives are sent to the Presidential Council for approval by unanimity, to be issued within 10 days of the date of their arrival at the council.

(b) If the Presidential Council does not approve, the laws and resolutions are returned to the Council of Representatives to examine the aspects that were objected to and to vote on them once more by majority, whereupon they are sent again to the Presidential Council for approval.

(c) If the Presidential Council does not approve the laws or resolutions again with 10 days of their arrival, they are returned to the Council of Representatives which can adopt them by a three-fifths majority of its members. This cannot be opposed and it is considered approved.

6th ? The Presidential Council practices the powers provided for the president of the republic until the issuing of a decision by the Council of Representatives as provided for in the 1st clause of this article.

Article (149):

1st ? The executive authority will take the necessary steps to complete implementation of the requirements of Article (58) of the Transitional Administration Law for the Iraqi State, with all its clauses.

2nd ? The responsibilities placed on the executive authority provided for in Article (58) of the Transitional Administration Law for the Iraqi State are extended to and will continue for the executive authority until the completion of (normalization, census, ending with a census in Kirkuk and other disputed areas to determine the will of the people) in a period no longer than 12/31/2007.

Article (150): Laws legislated in Kurdistan since 1992 remain in effect, and decisions made by the government of the Kurdistan region ? including contracts and court decisions ? are effective unless they are voided or amended according to the laws of the Kurdistan region by the concerned body, as long as they are not against the constitution.

Article (151): A proportion of no less than 25 percent of the seats in the Council of Representatives is specified for the participation of women.

Article (152): The Transitional Administration Law for the Iraqi State and its appendix are voided upon creation of the new government, except for what appears in paragraph (a) of Article (53) and Article (58) of the Transitional Administration Law.

Article (153): This constitution comes into effect after its approval by the people in a universal referendum and its publication in the official newspaper and the election of the Council of Representatives in accordance with its provisions.

Thanks to Terrorism Unveiled for the text.

Vote NO!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

U.S. Envoy: Iraq Constitution May Change

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - In a dramatic shift, the U.S. ambassador raised the possibility Tuesday of further changes to Iraq's draft constitution, signaling that the Bush administration has not given up its campaign to push through a charter that will be broadly accepted.

Also Tuesday, U.S. warplanes struck three suspected al-Qaida targets near the Syrian border, killing what the U.S. military called a "known terrorist." Iraqi officials said 45 people died, most in fighting between an Iraqi tribe that supports the foreign fighters and another that opposes them.

The nation's Sunni Arabs had demanded revisions in the constitution, finalized last weekend by the Shiite-Kurdish majority over Sunni objections. A Shiite leader said only minor editing would be accepted, because the draft was now ready for voters in an Oct. 15 referendum.

But Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters he believed "a final, final draft has not yet been, or the edits have not been, presented yet" - a strong hint to Shiites and Kurds that Washington wants another bid to accommodate the Sunnis."
My Way
I think they are just playing us, wasting time and running down the clock.

Bourbon Street Unscathed

Look, Pat and Jerry both think this constitution sucks:
"PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system."
Juan Cole
Who would have guessed? These two would be on our side of this question.
At least sitting here in the US, Pat and Jerry have complete control over, not only the people in those high places, but Pat and Jerry have control over the exact text those people in high places will be entrusted with observing.
Nothing is left to chance regarding "what the top people do."

And they still complain.Imagine what they would say in they were in Iraq.

Life or something like it

"Hello again, finally.. It's been 15 days in which I was planning what I should write and shouldn't. 15 days outside Iraq, full of fun and trying to analyze things. But I'm back now, and I have to write the post.

More than a month ago, we signed for a tour to Turkey, we paid the money and waited for the people at the tourism company to get us the visas (Which is part of their job). It took so much time and finally 20 days ago, they told us they might not be able to do it at all and so we took back our money and changed the destination to Syria. It was the easiest alternative, close to Mosul, and doesn't need a visa."
A Star From Mosul
Welcome back, hope you had a nice time.
On a separate note, it's good to hear that Syria has that border problem fixed! Shit you don't even need a visa.

Interviewing Mayada Al-Askari

"Let's Start With Your Work News

Q: How is life treating you these days? How are your children, Fay and Ali, doing?

A: I am well, and I thank God for that every day, my daughter Fay is here with me in the United Arab Emirates where I work in the Dubai Internet City as the Business Development Manager in a publishing and IT firm.

Fay studied graphic design for two years in Jordan, but wants to change her major to be a TV anchor, and she is taking an intensive course for that in Dubai.

My son, Ali, lives in Jordan, and is in his second year in the American University in Amman, studying Management Information Systems."
Iraqi in America

Unsettled in Iraq

"THE MOST telling reaction to the draft Iraqi constitution has come not from Crawford, Texas, but from Tehran. There, the head of Iran's Guardian Council hailed the document. ''After years of struggle," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said, ''an Islamic state has come to power." That is a more accurate description of the potential of the document than President Bush provided Sunday in praising its ''far-reaching protections for human freedoms." As much as the Bush administration wants the Iraqi people to adopt a constitution and take over the fight against the insurgents, US officials must have misgivings about a document that Iran welcomes.

Basic human and democratic rights are given lip service in the document. But it also states that Islam is the country's official religion, that it will be ''a basic source of legislation," and that no law can be passed that violates ''the undisputed rules" of the Islamic faith. The draft says that judges on Iraq's highest court should include experts in Islamic law, suggesting that Muslim clerics would sit on it. It is no surprise that an Iranian official should be pleased by the document, especially since it would facilitate the formation of a powerful region in southern Iraq that, like Iran, would be mainly Shiite."

More Changes Said Likely to Iraq Charter

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. ambassador suggested Tuesday there may be further changes to the draft constitution in order to win Sunni Arab approval, saying he believed a "final, final draft" had not yet been presented.

Meanwhile, U.S. F-16s launched airstrikes near the Syrian border, destroying three houses and killing a "known terrorist," the U.S. military said. Iraqi authorities said fighting had broken out in the area between a tribe that supports foreign fighters and another that backs the government.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad spoke two days after Shiite and Kurdish negotiators bypassed Sunni Arab negotiators and finished the draft, despite Sunni objections to federalism, references to Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and the country's identification as an Islamic but not Arab state.

"I believe that a final, final draft has not yet been, or the edits have not been, presented yet, so that is something that Iraqis will have to talk to each other and decide for themselves," Khalilzad told reporters."
My Way
My discussions about the constitution and links to more of my discussions in the comments of other sites here

Monday, August 29, 2005

Iraq vets hitting college campuses

"No wonder young warriors volunteer for additional combat tours. You can have more respect for your adversaries.

NRO looks at what happens:

“A woman on campus had apparently learned I might be a Marine. When I told her I was, she said, ‘You’re a disgusting human being, and I hope you rot in hell!’ ""
It's too bad that the administration's behavior is only driving this from the fringes out into the main stream. It's really a shame.

Constitution born by Caesarian Section

"So they had the ceremony, and the drafting committee (minus Sunni Arab members) presented the final draft of the permanent Iraqi constitution to parliament on Sunday. But parliament did not vote on it. The Sunni Arabs did not attend. Parliament has abdicated its responsibilities toward the constitution and put it in the lap of the October 15 national referendum. Al-Hayat aptly said that the Iraqi constitution has been delivered by caesarian section. It was plucked from the womb of the drafting committee before the latter could give birth to it naturally. Sunni negotiator Salih Mutlak called it "a minefield.""
Juan Cole
You guys are making Dr. Cole look good.

Iraq Commission Extends Voter Registration

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq's electoral commission announced Monday it has extended the registration period in troubled Anbar province by a week to allow its residents to participate in the constitutional referendum and general elections.

Safwat Rashid, an official with the Independent Electoral Commission, said that out of 28 registration centers in the western province, only 19 had opened so far.

The nationwide drive to register voters for the Oct. 15 referendum on Iraq's proposed constitution and general elections in December opened on Aug. 3. A total of 544 centers are registering voters.

The commission said the decision to extend the period in Anbar until Sept. 7, was made because some centers opened late because of logistical and security reasons, "and in order to allow the biggest number of voters to (register), as well as because of demands by political groups.""
My Way

I wonder ....

"I was despondent when I started to wonder…
I wonder if any one can tolerate Sauna for 3 months continuously at 52C,
I wonder if any one can tolerate fear &anxiety for 15 years with out psychological help & survive ,"

The In T View: Ali Fadhil - Cast Off From Blogging Heaven, He Found His Truth Elsewhere

"Iraqi Pediatrician, former Political Candidate, and Blogger Extraordinaire Ali Fadhil caused Major Shockwaves throughout the Blogosphere when he left the famed Iraq The
Model because of Philosophical Differences with the other Fadhil brothers. Ali however, soon landed on his feet, in a Big Time Way with his New Blog: Free Iraqi, where he exhibits a deft touch in writing about Iraq, Democracy, the Middle East, Terrorism, and Political Machinations.

And he discusses all that in the In T View: Ali Fadhil - Cast Off From Blogging Heaven, He Found His Truth Elsewhere"
Iraqi Bloggers Central -Mister Ghost

Sistani emabrrasses the governement.

"The differences between the Sheat clergy and the parties that used its name during the elections are deepening and this appeared clearly after Sistani that he's not going to accept having his name or that of the clergy used for any future electoral campaign.

The clergy's negative attitude towards Sheat ruling parties increased after more seeing criticism coming from the people in the Sheat regions to the worsening situation in their cities which is attributed to the failure of the local administrations in running the affairs of the cities; the peak of the crisis came when Sheat-Shaet conflicts started in Najaf and a few other cities. I was even told by some Najafi friends that the conflict pushed Sistani to rufuse any meetings with government officials."

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Key Changes in Iraq Constitution

"Key changes to the text of the draft Iraqi constitution, which was submitted without the approval of the Sunni Arabs:
- The preamble places additional emphasis on atrocities under Saddam Hussein. The earlier version said Saddam oppressed "the majority" - a term Kurds and Sunnis said identified too closely with Shiites. Those "of the western region" are Sunnis, emphasizing that they too suffered under the old regime:"
My Way
Window dressing if you as me, nice window dressing, but nothing more.

Where In the World...

"If you're wondering where I am and why I haven't written anything brilliant and scintilating for two days, I'm busy working on Project Valour IT. Something you should be doing, too.

That's right, you can help by donating, posting information on your blog or journal or simply spreading the word to other bloggers, friends, family, radio and newspapers or other entities (like your employer, church group, American Legion, VFW, hint, hint)."
The Middle Ground
I posted this because on the surface it looks like a good idea, and Kat is a smart, articulate and trustworthy blogger, so it must be OK. But I just find it a bit ironic, that they are going to give the soldier communication after they have been wounded, but at the same time are curtailing the and or trying to stop outright the blogging that soldiers do while on duty. You guys might want to be careful as the new rules may not actually allow wounded soldiers to tell their stories, and by giving them access you may get them in trouble. Of course if it gets the word out, I'm all for it, anyway.

Sunnis Reject Draft of Iraqi Constitution

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi negotiators finished the country's new constitution Sunday without the endorsement of Sunni Arabs who helped prepare it, dealing a blow to the Bush administration and setting the stage for a bitter campaign leading up to an October referendum.

The 15 members of the Sunni panel said they rejected the document because of disagreements over such issues as federalism, Iraq's identity and references to Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated Baath Party.

Sunni Arab negotiators also said in a joint statement that they had asked the United Nations and Arab League to intervene.

The country's parliament speaker, Hajim al-Hassani, a Sunni Arab who was not on the negotiating panel, said he had "some reservations" about the draft - including "too much religion" and curbs on women's rights - and believed Shiites should have offered more concessions to the Sunnis."...

...and fail to affirm the country's Arab identity. The draft refers to Iraq as an Islamic - but not Arab - country as the Sunnis demanded."
I would reject both versions, and opt for something all inclusive, like no mention of any one particular identity, and not chopping other groups up into demographically challenged sub groups, like they are doing to many of the minorities
...Sunni leaders said their people should oppose the charter peacefully by voting "no" in the referendum.

"The (Sunni) bloc should now convene a general conference to decide how to proceed," Sadoun Zubaydi said. "Boycotting the referendum and parliamentary elections (in December) would be a lose-lose proposition. Our hope will be in the next parliament that will hopefully be more balanced than this one."
My Way
One can only hope

Iraq's constitution: the final discussions...

"Dr. Sallama Al-Khafaji (Assembly member from the SCIRI) announced 5 minutes ago on Al-Iraqia TV that many of the disputed points that were delaying the completion of the constitution have been solved and that the word "Party" (which the Sunni CDC members had objections on) was omitted from the clause that deals with deba'athification and now the clause refers to the Saddamist Ba'ath without calling it a "party"!

Dr. Khafaji said that further delays are not expected and voting will take place later today.
She said that everyone is awaiting Mr. Hachim Al-Hasani to decide the time for the voting session as he is the chairman of the National Assembly.

Update: (1:00 pm local time)."
ITM -Omar

The Public Now Does Not Trust The Military

"Reuters reported this week a survey which showed that the public is becoming very skeptical about the information which the Military provides. Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette believes that Milblogs give free and unfettered information about the military and the war. However, the public seems to disagree....

...UPDATE: Shoomaker declares "war" on Blogs under the guise of "OPSEC". Now it appears that the Army is going to put strict controls on Blogs and photos posted on the net. This supports my position that it is impossible for Milblogs to report "fair and balanced" since they cannot show and discuss a lot of things. This is reported at Dadmanly."
The Command T.O.C.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kirkuk's Ethnic Divide Laid Bare

"KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) - Sworn into office after January's historic elections in Iraq, the new members of the local provincial council were expected to usher the ethnically mixed northern city of Kirkuk into a new era of political cooperation.

Instead, they became bogged down in bitter accusations of fraud and power grabbing. A boycott by angry Arab and Turkomen members against their Kurdish colleagues ensured that a full council did not meet until early August.

The seven-month delay has laid bare the deep-seated divide between rival ethnic groups, whose long-standing grievances and open mistrust have erupted into a near-paralyzing impasse.

In many ways, the provincial council's troubles seem reflective of the larger difficulties facing Iraqi leaders in cobbling together a new government as they try to avoid the real possibility of an ethnic conflict that could lead to a civil war.

"It's been very, very frustrating," said Lt. Col. Anthony Wickham, who heads a team of U.S. military advisers to the Tamim provincial council.

"If you can solve the problems here, you can do it anywhere because you have all the complications of getting this country together. It's all right here - a microcosm of Iraq."...

...Councilman al-Assi said the Arab community is "very serious about participating in the next elections," adding they are undeterred by threats made by terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq to target Sunnis who vote.

"This next election is very important. It will decide the fate of Arabs citizens. If the next elections are clean, I believe Arabs will have a big role in the government," he said.
My Way
The only silver lining that I can see. If in fact this experience drives the point about the necessity of voting, deep into the mindset of the Iraqi public. It's a step in the right direction. A public interested in voting will also come to recognize the value of the freedoms that make it possible to vote with a clear conscience.

Update: 8/28/05

Hey look, this article from the BBC seams to agree with me. They end their report with this:
"To ensure the constitution does not become law, the Sunnis will have to do something they did not do in the January elections - turn out and vote.
That would mean that even in wrecking the draft document they would at least be engaging in the democratic process.

And that could represent a significant development in Iraq's troubled path towards a brighter future."
Now, is it a good or a bad thing when the BBC agrees with you? I will leave that to you the reader to decide.

Scale buildings in a single bound

"SPIDERMAN does it, so does James Bond. Now a gadget has been developed to allow US marines to zip up the sides of buildings or ships with virtually no effort.

All you do is fire a rope to the top of the structure using a harpoon gun or grappling hook, and then fit the rope into the device, called PowerQuick, which attaches to your climbing harness. Then just sit back and squeeze a lever.

PowerQuick has been developed by Quoin International based in Carson City, Nevada, and can lift a load of 145 kilograms at a rate of 1 metre per second. A battery-powered motor turns a series of wheels and cogs to pull the rope through the device. One battery charge is enough to scale the Statue of Liberty five times, or 250 metres in total. If you let go of the device it automatically stops and holds its position, and it can also be used for a slow controlled descent."
New Scientist

The war, Democrats, and Hillary Clinton

"In June, I ventured a prediction: ``A Eugene McCarthy will appear soon to pressure and challenge Hillary Clinton in 2008, if Hillary does not convert herself into an antiwar candidate.''

Observing the Cindy Sheehan protest, I updated the prediction just last week: ''September could see the coalescing of an antiwar movement that . . . divides (the) Democratic Party.'' And so it has come to pass.

On Sunday's Meet the Press, Gene McCarthy emerged in the person of Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Monday, the top headline in The Washington Post read, Democrats split over position on Iraq war."
Miami Herald
Sen. Clinton should meet with Rend Rahim

Sunni infighting involving al Qaeda erupts in Iraq

"RAMADI, Iraq, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Two Sunni Arab tribes, one loyal to al Qaeda and the other to the government, clashed in western Iraq, killing at least 20 people and wounding scores, clerics and hospital officials in the town said on Saturday.

The tribes fought months ago and violent confrontations erupted again on Friday and Saturday near Qaim, where U.S. Marines launched several offensives to root out insurgents from May to July.

Clerics in the town say members of the Karabilah tribe -- allied to al Qaeda -- attacked homes of the rival Albu-Mehel tribe -- many of whom are members of Iraq's new security forces in their province of Anbar...

...Hospital officials say they have received 20 bodies in the past day but that the death toll is likely to be much higher as tribes often perform quick burials and the hospital is in the control of al Qaeda -- leaving Albu-Mehel to send their casualties elsewhere."

Sunnis Cite 13 Problems With Constitution

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A Sunni Arab negotiator said Saturday that Sunnis submitted counterproposals on Iraq's constitution and would meet with the U.S. ambassador, who has urged the country's factions to produce a charter acceptable to all.

Earlier, parliament Speaker Hajim al-Hassani, himself a Sunni, said Shiites and Kurds had made amendments to address Sunni concerns about federalism and purging former ruling party members. But Sunni negotiator Fakhri al-Qaisi said his side saw no "essential changes" in that offer.

He said Sunnis would not accept the draft described by Shiites and Kurds on Friday as complete. Sunni leaders have urged voters to reject the charter in an Oct. 15 referendum if it does not meet their demands.

Al-Hassani had said the constitution would be submitted to parliament Sunday. The legislature, overwhelmingly Shiite and Kurdish, may vote on it or simply refer it to voters."
My Way

100,000 Sadrists March Against Constitution

"Reuters reports that Muqtada al-Sadr's supporters rallied in 8 cities on Friday, totaling a hundred thousand demonstrators in all. They chanted against the new constitution, which they characterized as an American-authored document. They also complained about lack of electricity and other services. Al-Sadr's followers rallied in Kufa, Najaf,Baghdad (Sadr City), Nasiriyah, Amarah, Basra and elsewhere.

I saw the demonstrations on al-Jazeera and they were in fact just enormous. I have all along said that I think Muqtada al-Sadr is formidable, that those who underestimate him are making a mistake. But these demonstrations are evidence of a quantum leap in Muqtada's organizational capability. He has never been able to bring out more than 5,000 to 10,000 demonstrators before. It is obvious his group has continued to do underground recruiting and networking while he has been relatively quiet and his Mahdi Army mostly put their guns in the closet. This impressive display suggests that it might well be possible for Muqtada to bring out 2/3s of Maysan Province, where he is very influential, against the constitution."
Juan Cole
For once I'm secretly rooting for Sadr. "go sadr"

Iraq Constitution

"It is not an easy task to write a constitution for any country with homogenous culture and the task even harder if the society is various. In Iraq the job is much harder because of the complexity of the Iraqi society and the negative outcomes of the dictator regime policies on the country for the last 30 years.

The most affected people from the carnage of the previously Sunni dominated regimes especially Saddam's regime are the Shiites and the Kurds. The Kurds achieved a lot of freedom and progress during the last 14 years when they had international protection from the control of Saddam's regime. They now would like to strengthen such an independent in the new constitution."
I think sam sounds ok with it all. You've all noticed Abbas silence. What do they both have in common. The lion share of the power.

Gates of Fire

"Mosul, Iraq

Combat comes unexpectedly, even in war.

On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.

Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress.

The only mission I've seen unfold close to what was planned was a B Company raid a few months back. It actually went so close to perfect that we could hardly believe it. The sole glitch occurred when a Stryker hit an IED, but since nobody was hurt, we just continued the mission. In retrospect, it's hard to imagine why I didn't write about it. But times are busy, and, apart from it going nearly perfectly according to plan, it just seemed like any other old raid."
Michael Yon
Don't miss this one.