Socialist Worker

US control lurks behind the Iraq constitution row

by Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Issue No. 1964

The US still has its finger on the trigger — an Iraqi army recruit is trained by a US soldier

The US still has its finger on the trigger — an Iraqi army recruit is trained by a US soldier

The whole saga of the Iraqi constitution, where any agreement on a draft was delayed until Monday of next week, is indicative of the situation in Iraq under the US occupation.

There have been calls from some of the religious parties in the government for Iraq to be divided along sectarian and ethnic lines.

The US-led occupation is fuelling these calls, which are also made by people in the Kurdish north.

Political groups in the south are talking about the redistribution of the country’s oil wealth along sectarian lines.

But the Iraqi people reject these calls. They are fed up with the US occupation. Resistance — both military and political — is on the increase.

There is a lack of security, there are killings every day and crime rates are very high. The Iraqi people see no future and everything is in a mess.

The US is launching military campaigns in major cities such as Haditha. An uprising is taking place in southern Iraq where people are complaining about their living conditions.

In Samawah there have been massive demonstrations opposing the occupation, and the lack of security and amenities such as water. The group supporting the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has played a crucial part in these protests.

The US is unpopular and people want occupation troops to leave. If they don’t, Iraq will be up in arms.

Iraqi people don’t feel that the initiatives of the US — the new government, the elections and now the constitution—are reflective of their desire for genuine independence.

They don’t buy Tony Blair or George Bush’s propaganda that these are huge achievements for democracy. Iraqis see the situation gets worse every day.

The constitution is based on the guidelines that former US proconsul Paul Bremer laid down. It is clear that the US authorities still have control.

The people who were elected to the Iraqi assembly in January have spent 40 days discussing their allowances, and over three months discussing the formation of a government. They have not spent a single hour discussing the plight of the Iraqi people.

Lots of Iraqi people participated in the January elections because they were hungry for freedom and democracy. But they realise the US won’t liberate them and they want the US to withdraw.

The government they elected is not able to do anything. It is handicapped because full control is still in the hands of the US.

Some US decision-makers are using the threat of partition as a stick to beat the Iraqis with—“If you don’t stop resisting, we will partition your country.”

The Iraqi people do not want this. An excellent demonstration of this occurred in Ramadi on Sunday of last week.

A fundamentalist group said that Shia Muslims should leave the town. But then Sunni Muslims came and fought the fundamentalist group so that the Shia could stay.

Attempts to divide people are being rejected by Iraqis. Divisions will make it difficult for Iraqis to achieve freedom. Unity is paramount.

No matter how they stitch it up, the constitution is the result of a US diktat. The way things are going people could reject it at a planned referendum in October.

People realise you cannot write a proper constitution when your land is controlled by imperialism.

For more from Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation go to

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Article information

Sat 20 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1964
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