I just heard Bush’s audio on CNN concerning the situation in Iraq. I don’t know if all the news programs had the same bad feed, but the poor quality of the transmission made Bush sound like Darth Vader, with a faint electronic echo. Sounding like a science fiction villain did not help the credibility of his typically panglossian screed on Iraq.
The pro-War talking point on the collapse of the negotiations over the constitution is that “some Sunnis” oppose the new constitution.
‘ A Sunni Arab delegate on the drafting committee said all his colleagues on the panel objected to the draft presented to parliament.
“We have not agreed on this constitution. We have objections which are the same as we had from day one,” Hussein al-Falluji, the Sunni Arab delegate, told Reuters. ‘
All of his colleagues. These “colleagues” are the Sunni Arabs who risked their lives to cooperate with the Americans and the new government by serving on the constitution drafting committee. (Bush can’t get a break in Iraq; he drew a delegate from Fallujah as the Sunni spokesman?) They are a small minority of a small minority. Most Sunni Arabs support the guerrilla movement. A minority has doubts about it and is more neutral. Sunni Arabs who are actively involved in negotiating with the Shiite/Kurdish/American government can be counted on the fingers of two hands. And even they reject this constitution.
So I think Sunni opposition to the constitution may be considered more or less unanimous. The division is between those who want to fight it at the ballot box and those who want to fight it with bombs.
It isn’t just “some Sunnis” who are opposed.
Bush also trotted out his completely wrong version of American history to suggest a parallel to the dissension over the adoption of the American constitution in 1789. Delegates representing twenty percent of the population did not refuse to sign (a number of the delegates who did not sign had just drifted away for business or other reasons, not because of opposition). And a handful who did explicitly refuse, including Elbridge Gerry and George Mason, did so to protest the lack of a Bill of Rights. Their stance was vindicated when one was added later. (I.e. even they were ultimately brought on board).
A sitting president is a kind of historian for the nation. In this regard Bush has gone from being a “C” student to an “F” one.
[Billmon has more on the idiotic parallels being made to the Philadelphia process. His postings on Iraq in recent days are strewn with pearls of insight (scroll down). And he is the first commentator I have seen to understand my worst case scenario for the war in Iraq spinning out of control and taking 20 percent of the world’s petroleum off the market.