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Monday, August 29, 2005

To form a more perfect disunion

AWol was blathering in his radio address about how the preparers of the Iraqi constitution are "like our own nation's founders over two centuries ago." Billmon points out that not only is this a serious insult to Tom, Jim, Ben, Alex and the rest of the 1787 Philadelphia gang, it is also pretty much completely backwards. Our constitution, prepared by men who had just gained independence from an occupying power, provided for a strong federal government which controlled the nation's most valuable resource (western lands) and which retained the most important powers--military, monetary, affairs of state. The alleged and probably doomed Iraqi constitution gives control of the most valuable resource (oil) to regions, and invites quibbling almost certainly leading to warfare on the other issues. In his long, interesting post on the subject, Billmon concludes:
That said, though, as a student of American history it's hard not to be contemptuous of anyone who would dare compare what the framers tried to do in Philadelphia to the deal that just went down in the Baghdad bazaar. Whatever you think of their politics -- or the utter hypocricy of slaveowners and slave merchants posing as champions of liberty -- the men of 1787 were giants.

The boys of 2005 (and their American sponsors), on the other hand, are just pygmies pretending to be giants. And the Iraqi people are going to be footing the bill for those pretensions -- in blood -- for a long time to come.