In other words, the continued wrangling over the Iraqi Constitution is not because of disagreement over whether Sharia should be paramount and Iraq should be an Islamic state. Note well that none of the parties quoted below brings that up as a sticking point. And meanwhile, outside, the jihad continues. From “Three Car Bomb Attacks Kill 43 in Baghdad,” from AP, :
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — Three car bombs exploded near a bus station and hospital in Baghdad Wednesday, killing at least 43 people and wounding 89 in the deadliest attacks in the capital in weeks, police said. Survivors searched charred buses and cars for signs of relatives.
The violence came as Iraq’s leaders resumed negotiations on a draft of a new constitution, a charter they hope will bring stability and help end the insurgency. The document was to be finished Monday, but the deadline was extended one week.
A suicide car bomber targeting policemen detonated his vehicle outside the Nahda bus station in central Baghdad, one of the city’s major transit points, the U.S. military said.
A second car exploded in the open-air station’s parking lot near buses that carry passengers to Amarah and Basra, Shiite-dominated cities in southern Iraq, police Capt. Nabil Abdul-Qader said.
About 30 minutes later, a suicide bomber exploded his vehicle near the Kindi Hospital as many of the wounded were arriving for treatment, police said. It was unclear if the hospital was targeted in the blast.
Abdul-Qader said 43 people died and 85 were wounded in the attacks….
One of the stumbling blocks in the constitution debate was Kurdish demands for self-determination, which would give them the right to secede.
On Tuesday, Kurdish leaders said they had no plans to break away from Iraq even through they wanted the right enshrined in the constitution.
“There are rumors that the Kurds want to secede, but they are for unity,” President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, told reporters Tuesday. He said he expected the constitution to be finished before the deadline.
Other Kurds defended their self-determination demand, although they insisted they have no plans to secede.
Iraqi leaders expressed confidence on Tuesday that they would overcome differences over remaining issues by the new deadline. If no agreement can be reached this time, the interim constitution requires that parliament be dissolved.
Different groups gave conflicting information on what had been resolved and what stood in the way of a deal.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, said the unresolved issues were federalism, the election law and the formula for distributing revenue from oil and other natural resources. Kurdish leaders said they objected to a proposal to grant special legal status to the Shiite clerical hierarchy in Najaf.
Sunni Arab negotiator Mohammed Abed-Rabbou said “the most important point is federalism,” underscoring Sunni concerns that a constitution that grants regional autonomy could eventually divide the country.
Al-Jaafari said disagreements were largely over details and he expressed confidence that Iraq’s constitution could be finished within a week.
“I hope that we will not need another extension. The pending points do not need too much time and God willing we will finish it on time,” he said Tuesday.