Published just hours apart, but by journalists separated by thousands of miles and a huge cultural divide, articles at the Boston Globe and al-Jazeera concerning the voting just finished in Iraq had striking similarities in their views. In fact, the tenor of both reports was quite negative.
The key points raised in the al-Jazeera article were:
“In what the American President George W. Bush claims to be another milestone on Iraq’s road to democracy, Iraqi headed to polling stations today to give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposed draft constitution, expected to further divide the country into three mini-states.”
On this issue, the Globe stated:
“And the process of drafting the constitution has exacerbated rifts in Iraqi society. Some Iraqis fear it goes too far to enshrine Islam as the basis of government; some say it doesn't go far enough. Others worry that the charter could increase ethnic strife; many Sunnis believe it treats them unfairly and fear its provisions for federalism will allow the creation of oil-rich Shi'ite and Kurdish ministates that leave Sunni areas isolated.”
Al-Jazeera: “There's no clarity about what the referendum means to the Iraqis, but it is for sure not a step forward in establishing democracy in the country as President Bush maintains.”
The Globe: “The White House has presented the referendum as a major chance to defuse the insurgency by drawing Sunnis into politics. But a US diplomat, speaking anonymously under embassy policy, said yesterday that the constitution vote alone will probably have little effect on the insurgency.”
For those interested, here is a Video Link for an anti-Constitution piece that al-Jazeera is advertising at the end of articles on this subject.