Support For The Iraqi Constitution Is Higher Than Anticipated

Up until this point, the general consensus on the Iraqi Constitution has been that it will be heavily supported by Kurds and Shias in the October referendum, but also strongly opposed by the Sunnis. Judging by the latest poll results coming in from Iraq, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

From the Washington Times:

“Recent polling shows widespread support for a new Iraqi constitution to be voted on Oct. 15, even in strongholds of Sunni Arab groups that are fighting to derail the charter.

Mehdi Hafedh, director of the Iraqi Center for Development and International Dialogue, said his latest survey showed that Iraqis are exhausted by the continuing violence and that most are hoping the new constitution will be a first step toward the restoration of order.

“The Iraqi people want to finalize the political process as soon as possible. … They want to establish a normal government and institutions,” Mr. Hafedh said yesterday, adding: “Iraqis want this situation to end. It is untenable.”

The poll of 3,625 Iraqis, conducted Sept. 14 to 19, showed 79 percent in favor of the draft constitution and 8 percent opposed. The remainder did not respond.

A high percentage of respondents said they intended to vote and that the level of violence likely would be reduced after the referendum.

…Although support for the constitution was particularly high in the northern Kurdish areas and southern regions dominated by Shi’ites, Mr. Hafedh said it topped 50 percent even in central provinces known as the heartland of Sunni unrest — a sign, he said, that the Sunni-Shi’ite split is not as wide as many fear.

“This is exaggerated by political elites who are seeking power and by Western media and analysts,” Mr. Hafedh said.

Given that it will take 3 of Iraq’s 19 provinces voting against the Constitution by a 2/3rds margin to knock it down, it seems highly likely that the Constitution is going to be approved by the Iraqi people.

That’s a big step forward for the Iraqis and excellent news for Americans concerned about the situation in Iraq. Although it wouldn’t be a crushing blow if the Iraqis voted down the Constitution later this month, it would certainly be a setback and a propaganda victory for the terrorists.

Now, with the Constitution looking likely to pass, the shoe may turn out to be on the other foot. Since Al-Qaeda has loudly & violently opposed the Constitution, if it were to pass, it could be fairly said to be a stinging rebuke for Zarqawi and company.

Furthermore, if the Iraqis vote for the Constitution by a large margin with a large number — maybe even a majority of Sunnis on board — it begs a question: If the terrorists are supposed to be “freedom fighters,” as many members of the anti-war movement like Cindy Sheehan believe, just whose freedom are they fighting for? The people who once lived under one of the most merciless dictators on the planet who are now about to vote for their own Constitution as a prelude to a 2nd election in December? Get a grip on reality…

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