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March 9, 2004

We Want the Dog to Bark

Mark Steyn makes a great point about the internal battles over the Iraqi constitution:

In Iraq, an interim constitution was signed yesterday. It's not perfect, though it's a good deal less imperfect than the European constitution and for the Middle East it's a remarkable document. But it's amazing to me the way the western media interpret disagreements as a bad sign. Wouldn't it be a worse sign if there were no disagreements? If Bush just faxed over the final draft and everyone signed it? The haggling and the stalemates and the trade-offs are the healthy sign.

Of course, I trust that the Western media would have made much the same argument as Steyn if there hadn't been any disagreements. When the preordained conclusion is that a project is doomed to failure, one will always manage to find evidence, because there's always reason that it could fail. The trick is in the whether.

A similar matter is the place of Islam. Undoubtedly, we've good reason to keep an eye on the independent judiciary that will settle disputes about whether laws contradict Islam, but new nations will always require compromises that could lead to hostilities.

Our Constitution, after all, allowed for slavery.

Posted by Justin Katz at March 9, 2004 1:53 PM