- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2005

Nobles: The Iraqi people, who, though mostly ignored in this country, ratified their new constitution.

Considering how often we Americans talk about our Constitution, you’d think the press could have spent a few more column inches on Iraq’s new constitution. Alas, no. Countries that have been liberated by the United States should know better than to ratify a constitution during Beltway investigations, Supreme Court nominations and Cindy Sheehan peace rallies at the White House.

Although the vote took place Oct. 15, the Iraq Electoral Commission confirmed Tuesday that 78 percent of voters backed the new charter. Compared to the January parliamentary elections, terrorist attacks were light, but Iraqis still braved the threats of violence to take control of their own country.

The ratification was actually closer than the results seem to suggest. Three provinces had to vote against the constitution with a two-thirds majority for it to be rejected. Two Sunni-controlled provinces overwhelmingly voted against the constitution, but 55 percent of voters in a third, Nineveh, opposed it, falling short of the needed two-thirds majority. Every other province, however, returned a “yes” majority.

The insurgency will undoubtedly continue, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that a functioning democracy is emerging in a country where, not three years ago, despotism ruled.

For their courage and determination, the Iraqi people are the Nobles of the week.

Knaves: Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who pines for the “fifty years of peace” in the Middle East before the coming of the reckless Bush administration.

A lot of conservative critics of the Iraq war have come forward recently claiming vindication. Mr. Scowcroft, for example, gave an interview to the New Yorker magazine, in which he waxed nostalgic on the good old days when Saddam Hussein was digging mass graves.

In particular, the arch-supporter of the “realist” school of foreign policy recounted a conversation he had two years ago with then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice: “[Miss Rice] says [the United States] is going to democratize Iraq, and I said, ‘Condi, you’re not going to democratize Iraq,’ and she said, ‘You know, you’re just stuck in the old days,’ and she comes back to this thing that we’ve tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth.” Mr. Scowcroft then adds, “But we’ve had fifty years of peace.” Good grief.

Let’s not even go back 50 years. Let’s go back to 1979, when Iran held 66 Americans hostage; to 1983, when 241 Marines and servicemen were killed in Beirut; to 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait; to 1993, and the first World Trade Center bombing; to 2000 and the USS Cole; to September 11. And that’s a short list.

For a particularly shallow view of the last 50 years, Mr. Scowcroft is the Knave of the week.



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