August 22, 2005
Another setback today for Iraqi independents as the deadline passed without a ratified constitution. Today was supposed to be a day of celebration, another step towards making a sovereign Iraq. Instead it became a day of confusion.
After months of negotiations, the leader of the Iraqi National Assembly announces to the world that they have a Constitution. But the draft Constitution soon faded as Parliament adjourned for the day with no vote. The three main factions, the Shiites, the Kurds, and the Sunnis can't seem to come to a consensus about many things including federalism.
"The real problem for me is this federalism applicated by the Kurds in the North and some shiites in the South. The idea of dividing the country is what our enemies want," said one Iraqi citizen.
Federalism is the way the central government is going to rule the 18 different provinces. The most important part of the ruling, the way in which the government will divide the country's vast oil wealth. The intense negotiations continued to weigh on President Bush's mind as he made a stop in Salt Lake City.
"We salute their determination to lay the foundation for lasting democracies amid the ruins of a brutal dictatorship," said President Bush.
The President continues to face intense scrutiny about the war but he told the Veterans of Foreign Wars that the U.S. must stay the course to properly honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for," he said.
However more and more, some are comparing this experience to the Vietnam War.
"We are locked into a bogged down problem not unsimilar or dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam. The longer we stay, the more problems we are going to have," said Senator Chuck Hagel.
The deadline was extended an additional three days. In that time, officials hope to work out a constitution that will be able to run a country for a very long time. Experts say that having the Sunni-Arab minority on board is the key to stopping the insurgency.