The always excellent Juan Cole brings us a disturbing piece of expert commentary this morning. Apparently the way the Iraqi transitional law is written, on August 1 the Iraqi consitutional committee had the option of requesting an extension on the deadline for writing the permanent consitution and sending it up for approval by the elected legislature.
They wanted to request such an extension, but the Bush administration realized how bad that would look back home (especially with Cindy Sheehan bird-dogging the Prez about why exactly her son was gunned down in WMD-less Iraq), so they told the Iraqis to get it done, or else.
Or else what?
Well, that's what Juan Cole lets us in on today. If the constitutional committee can't agree on a consitution by August 15th (that's today), then the elected legislature is dissolved and elections have to be redone by December 15th. In other words, this whole year of political maneuvering in Iraq is washed down the drain and we start again like the Dallas season that turned out to be all a dream.
It's currently 6:45 p.m. in Baghdad. Last I heard, no constitution.
Actually, here's an update on that - the drafting committe was supposed to meet today at 6 p.m. but nobody showed up. So they (who?) postponed it til 8 p.m. I guess maybe everybody was caught in traffic.
Seriously, this is just embarrassing.