November 02, 2003
One quick post before watching the Packers beat the Vikings. This week at OpinionJournal Bernard Lewis and James Woolsey advise the allies to use the 1925 Iraqi constitution as a transition device to modern Iraqi self-rule. Also, they reject the fetish of some to yearn for U.N. submission in this process:
Some contend that a process that gave the U.N. a central role would somehow confer legitimacy. We are at a loss to understand this argument. Nearly 40% of the U.N. members' governments do not practice succession by election. In the Middle East only Israel and Turkey do so. Why waste time with U.N. member governments, many of them nondemocratic, working out their differences--and some indeed fundamentally oppose democracy in Iraq--when the key parties who need to do that are the Iraqis? Besides, real legitimacy ultimately will come about when Iraq has a government that "deriv[es] its just power from the consent of the governed." During a transition in which Iraq is moving toward democracy, a government that is operating under its existing constitution, with a monarch as called for in that document, is at least as legitimate as the governments of U.N. members that are not democracies at all.
Lewis and Woolsey are being too kind to U.N.-ites. Those in favor of greater U.N. involvement in Iraq do so because it isn't a U.S. led institution. American opponents like France don't give a damn about Iraqis or a transition to self-rule. Their goal is to lessen American "hyperpower."
"King and Country"