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October 16, 2005
Constitution, then what?
Early reports are that the Iraq Constitution looks likely to pass, though there are dissenting voices:
"I believe they will rig the results and announce the success of the referendum, but our monitors reported to us that more than 80 percent of the voters in three governorates have said no to this draft," Saleh Mutlaq, a spokesman for the Sunnis' National Dialogue Council, told reporters at a news conference; Iraq's provinces are formally called governorates. "This constitution is a menace to the unity and stability of Iraq, and we shall have no legal or legitimate means in order to defeat it."
It is acknowledged that the Constitution will fail overwhelmingly in two provinces: Salahuddin, with an 81 percent "no" vote, and solidly Sunni Anbar, where an even larger no total was expected. It is expected to fail also in Diyala and Nineveh provinces, though by less than 2/3. Failing by 2/3 majorities in any three provinces would cause the entire vote to fail.

But supposing the Constitution passes (which I expect it will, even if Fat Tony Scalia has to cast the deciding vote), what then? Will US troops start coming home? Will insurgent attacks begin to drop off? Will the Iraqi government begin to have sovereignty in fact, not just in name? Will the price of gas start dropping?

I'm dubious on all counts. Whether that's cynical or just realistic remains to be seen.