"Behind ramparts of concrete and barbed wire, the framers of Iraq's new constitution wrestled yesterday to prevent - or bring about - the federalisation of Iraq while their compatriots in the hot and fetid streets outside showed no interest in their efforts.
Today is supposed to be "C" day
, according to President Bush and all the others who illegally invaded this country in 2003. However, in " real" Baghdad - where the President and Prime Minister and the constitutional committee never set foot - they ask you about security, about electricity, about water, about when the occupation will end, when the murders will end, when the rapes will end.
As an Iraqi academic just returned from Paris and Brussels told me yesterday: "Europeans understand politics through the Green Zone level. They have no idea that the rest of Iraq - save for Kurdistan - is a place of anarchy and death. One asked me: "Do you think federalism is really a danger to the Sunni?". I answered him: "Do you think the fear of constant death is not a danger to Sunnis, Shia and Kurds? His eyes glazed over. It was not what he wanted to talk about. But it is what we talk about." "A Constitution That Means Nothing To Ordinary Iraqis
Robert Fisk, August 15, 2005To Z day ...
"There are now two Baghdads. One is the Green Zone, where US and Iraqi officials live in a protected realm; the other is the danger zone, where everyone else lives.
... One of the Americans, an old and brave friend of mine from Beirut days, walks over. "Have a look at this, Fisky," he says. "This is the kind of crap we get from the Americans these days - this is what they want us to write about." It is a news release from the Coalition press office, the spin doctors of the occupation troops here. "Comics Bring Barrels of Laughs to Task Force Baghdad," it says.
... Friday night. In the heart of this vast and oven-like city stands the Green Zone, 10 square kilometres of barricaded, walled, sealed-off palaces, villas and gardens - once the Raj-like centre of Saddam's regime wherein now dwell the Iraqi government, the constitutional committee, the US embassy, the British embassy and many hundreds of Western mercenaries. Many of them never meet Iraqis. Women in shorts jog past the rose beds; armed men and women " contractors" lie by the pool. There were at least three restaurants - until one of them was blown up by suicide bombers. You can buy phone accessories in a local shop, newspapers, pornographic DVDs. For tactical reasons, the Americans were forced to include dozens of middle-class Iraqi homes inside the Green Zone, a decision that has outraged many of the householders. They often have to wait four hours to pass through the security checkpoints. Irony of ironies, the tomb of Michel Aflaq, founder of the Baath party that once included both Iraq and Syria, lies inside the Green Zone. On Friday night, this crusader castle was bathed in its usual floodlights. I was looking up at the stars over the city when there was a dull sound and a flash of light from within the Green Zone. Somewhere not far from me, someone had launched a mortar at the illuminated fishbowl that has become the symbol of occupation for all Iraqis. Many ask what will become of it when the whole Western edifice here collapses. Some say it will become insurgent headquarters, others the next parliament. My guess is that whoever runs Iraq once the occupation collapses will turn the whole thing into a theme park. Or maybe just a museum.
(emphasis added)People torn to pieces, relatives scream - another week in the theme park of death
Robert Fisk, August 21, 2005
"The real issue in Iraq is not the constitution but the split between those doing business with the occupation and others fighting for fundamental sovereignty".The primary divide
August 18, 2005
"Despite and against all efforts of the occupation, the seeds of an Iraqi renaissance have been sown. The future of Iraq lies not in faux constitutions, but in its people".People not puppets
August 18, 2005An Update:
"The draft constitution is the principal plank of President George Bush's exit strategy from the Iraq conflict, which has made his popularity collapse among American voters.
American diplomats, led by the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, had been frantically lobbying for it to be adopted before last night's deadline. But far from sealing Iraq's post-Saddam era, the draft appeared to be quickly fracturing the fragile edifice of government, with Shia and Kurdish parties declaring they were prepared to use their parliamentary majority to push through the document in the teeth of Sunni opposition."Birth of a new Iraq, or blueprint for civil war?
August 23, 2005Hammurabi Code
is a collection of the laws and edicts of the Babylonian king Hammurabi, and is conisdered the earliest legal comprehensive code known in history, about 2000 years before Christ. A copy of the code is engraved on a block of black diorite nearly 2.4 m (8 ft) high. This block was unearthed by a team of French archaeologists at Susa, Iraq, formerly ancient Elam, during the winter of 1901-2. The block, broken in three pieces, has been restored and is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.