To take recent news reports and statements by President George Bush at face value, it would be reasonable to assume that Iraq is now well on the way to becoming the democratic beacon at the heart of the Middle East dreamed of by Washington’s neoconservative’s before Saddam Hussein’s removal. However, holding elections was merely the easiest, and most public, part of the task. The hard part, writing Iraq’s new constitution, now has to begin.
The constitution will be produced in a somewhat traumatic environment. The country is ravaged by an increasingly organised and active insurgency that the outgoing interim government has seemingly been unable to defeat or pacify. Security is now in the hands of the insurgents, or local militias.