The Iraqi Blueprint for Terror
Taking his cues on cluelessness from his boss, the Bush administration's ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, has praised the new Iraqi draft Constitution as "one of the most enlightened constitutions in the world, second to perhaps one or two others." He's certainly correct that the proposed Iraqi Bill of Rights contains plenty of warm and fuzzy platitudes similar to the U.S. Constitution.
Of course, so did the Soviet Constitution.
Unocal consultant Khalilzad is no smarter than his boss
In the American system of governance (paraphrasing the U.S. Declaration of Independence), men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. The U.S. Bill of Rights does not, therefore, "grant" rights to anyone. Instead, it protects already existing rights by prohibiting the government from intruding on those rights. Khalilzad's proposed Iraqi Constitution, on the other hand, follows the myopic (and barbaric) model that a government is somehow able to "grant" rights to its citizens. If a government can grant rights, it can also withdraw them. This is the model that was followed by the Soviets, and by the UN Charter on Human Rights.
The New American has recently published an interesting study comparing and contrasting basic human freedoms in these three documents (U.S., Soviet and Iraqi Constitutions, respectively). A quick glance at the table indicates that the Iraqi Constitution, on the whole, closely follows the Soviet model, and would barely be recognizable to an American. Perhaps the "one or two" constitutions Khalilzad had in mind as being "more enlightened" than this Iraqi document are the Soviet and UN constitutions?
Points where the proposed Iraqi Constitution differs (radically) from the U.S. model include:
- Freedom of Religion: Islam is the official state religion, and no law can be passed that contradicts or disputes the rules of Islam.
- Freedom of Religion: all hate language is banned and prohibited.
- Freedom of Speech and Press: permitted so long as it does not disrupt public order and morality.
- Freedom of Speech and Press: all hate language is banned and prohibited.
- Freedom of Assembly: permitted so long as it does not disrupt public order and morality.
- Freedom of Assembly: public protests and demonstrations will be organized by law.
- Right to Bear Arms: not permitted in the Iraqi constitution.
- Right to Trial by Jury: none.
- Right Against Search and Seizure: communications will not be spied upon or monitored unless required for legal and security measures, in accordance with the law.
- Right to Face an Accuser: none.
- Protection Against Self Incrimination: none.
- Additional Individual Rights: may be constrained to any extent necessary, but only "by law."
U.S. blood is not buying "freedom" in Iraq
In addition, the Iraqi constitution contains a number of curious "collective rights" designed to empower the State, and for which there is no analogue in the U.S. Constitution or any of its amendments:
- Socialized Medicine: guaranteed health insurance.
- Government Housing: state guarantees housing for its citizens.
- Industrial Planning: state shall be empowered to reform the Iraqi economy as it sees fit.
- Guaranteed Employment: work is a "right" for all Iraqis, and the proposed constitution regulates the relation between employees and employers.
- Nationalization of Natural Resources: environmental protection clauses
- State Control of Women and Family: state shall preserve the family's existence and ethical and religious values.
Ironic that Bush and Cheney campaigned against socialized medicine in the United States, and yet they are busy forcing it upon the people of Iraq.. Even more ironic is their desire to make the state an all-powerful, all-pervasive entity in Iraq. Benito Mussolini once described facsism as "everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." The proposed Iraqi Constitution is incovertible proof that the Bush administration has sacrified hundreds of American lives, and billions of American taxdollars, to the cause of building and creating Islamo-fascism, rather than fighting it.