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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Great piece at WSJ by Bernard Lewis and James Woolsey

King and Country: The Hasemite Solution for Iraq
This fascinating article calls for the re-institution of the Iraqi constitution from 1925, which would establish a constitutional monarchy:
Selecting the right monarch for the transitional government would be vitally important. Conveniently, the 1925 constitution provides that the people of Iraq are deemed to have "confided . . . a trust" to "King Faisal, son of Hussain, and to his heirs . . . ." If the allies who liberated Iraq recognized an heir of this Hashemite line as its constitutional monarch, and this monarch agreed to help bring about a modern democracy under the rule of law, such a structure could well be the framework for a much smoother transition to democracy than now seems at hand. The Sunni Hashemites, being able to claim direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed, have historically been respected by the Shiites, who constitute a majority of the people of Iraq, although the latter recognize a different branch of the family. It is the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, not the Hashemites, who have been the Shiites' persecutors.
I highly recommend that you read it all.

See also "Truth be told" (#15) at ISRAPUNDIT and this background piece at the Smithsonian Magazine (todah, Rachel).