Monday, August 22, 2005

Rallying point

Feeling snippy today.

I read that former Senator George Allen (R-VA), yet another of the Republican hopefuls of 2008, said on This Week yesterday that, as AP paraphrases,
a constitution guaranteeing basic freedoms would provide a rallying point for Iraqis.

"I think this is a very crucial time for the future of Iraq," Allen said on "This Week" on ABC. "The terrorists don't have anything to win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq. All they care to do is disrupt."
Unfortunately, the reality is far from George's fantasy world.
Shiite and Kurdish militias, often operating as part of Iraqi government security forces, have carried out a wave of abductions, assassinations and other acts of intimidation, consolidating their control over territory across northern and southern Iraq and deepening the country's divide along ethnic and sectarian lines, according to political leaders, families of the victims, human rights activists and Iraqi officials.

While Iraqi representatives wrangle over the drafting of a constitution in Baghdad, the militias, and the Shiite and Kurdish parties that control them, are creating their own institutions of authority, unaccountable to elected governments, the activists and officials said.
As many of you know, I'm a political scientist specializing in international political economy but with a background in international relations. Folks in my field like to talk about "sovereignty". In my book, consolidating control over territory and establishing institutions of authority is about sovereignty, not chaos; rule, not "disruption".

And yet on second thought, maybe ol' George is right -- perhaps the new Iraqi constitution (as I type, T minus 6 hours and counting [Baghdad is currently 8 hours ahead of EDT] to the revised deadline) will provide a "rallying point for Iraqis". After all, the Weimar Constitution did wonders for rallying Germany.


At 11:45 AM, Blogger dryfly said...

After all, the Weimar Constitution did wonders for rallying Germany.

Making the world safe for democracy - the new millenium edition.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

It is rallying war with each other.

Next: the same here in America.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Corporal Glut said...

Good to hear there are still political scientists in international relations approaching political economy from the pov of sovereignty and rule. I had begun to think that most of them were chiefly interested in crafting extra governmental institutions in the anarchic realm (i.e. the realm between states) with enough asymmetries and anticipated side payments to perpetuate equilibrium strategies sought by global producer oligopolies. Good to see you're not one of those epistemic sex workers. Sorry about the jargon, but that's how they talk sometimes. I don't think there will ever be a glut of lucid thought and expression on this subject. Keep up the good work.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger said...


I am riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains
of the nation.
Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air
go fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand people.
(All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men
and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall
pass to ashes.)
I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he
answers: "Omaha." Kindly visit
The Economic Fractalist

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.


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