Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Crackdown in Iraq

The Boston Globe reports that the Allawi government is using emergency powers to crak down on criminals and insurgents. The Christian Science Monitor also reports in detail on the same issue. A 7 p.m. curfew in Najaf, local judges reinstating the death penalty, etc. These are some of the things the U.S. or the Coalition Authority could not do. The Iraqis seem happy with the crackdown. Combining this with the vigelantes who have announced that they will try to kill al Zarqawi, and we can start noting that the new Iraqi government, meaning the good guys, will take much harsher measures than we ever could to stabilize the country. Start noting 1) that this will be effective; 2) supported by the people; 3) our liberal media and the left Demos will surely start to hyperventilate about it. Surely, this will be called tyranny; is this what we fought for? etc.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I’m not sure that martial law / emergency powers are a good precursor for a transition to democracy. I’m not positive on the empirical data one way or another, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not a question that only "liberal Demos" are supposed to care about. Oh well.

Brett, you raise some appropriate concerns that I share. However, it would also seem rather prudent to provide the essential security for a fledgling government under siege by terrorists and other insurgents who wish it ill. Also, strong rules of
security are not necessarily in conflict with self-rule - indeed, it may be a measure of what the people want. Now, all of this has the potential to become more authoritarian rule, perhaps permanently. Many precedents can probably be cited on both sides. But, it would probably be
imprudent and foolish for the Iraqis to build the government/democracy and not institute these measures, and allow the entire edifice to come crashing to the ground (literally). Lincoln’s "Fourth of July" speech to Congress in 1861 raised many of the same points in regards to his use of what are congressional powers in the Constitution in order to preserve the Union and self-government here.

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