Call for a Do-Over?

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Noah Feldman’s New York Times op-ed on the Iraqi constitution lays out all the well-tilled reasons why the document may just lead to further bloodshed down the road, but this part near the end brought on a bit of head-scratching:

Although things look bad today, the game is not yet quite over. Should the constitution be rejected on Oct. 15, everyone can head back to the negotiation table and try again.

In an ideal world, everyone would get behind this option. Do the whole thing over, this time with the Sunnis fully included. On the other hand, I have serious, serious doubts that re-electing the Iraqi National Assembly all over again would fundamentally change the outcome. The Sunni provinces are still as violent as ever, and turnout, while perhaps better than last January, would still be quite low. Meanwhile, Shiite militias like Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army and SCIRI’s “Badr Organization” pretty much run southern Iraq at the barrel of a gun, and the potential for ballot tampering, or intimidation, is high. The odds seem pretty good that re-doing everything would only bring back to power the same cast of characters, with the same set of demands, only this time, the U.S. military would be even closer to the breaking point, and the Iraqi people would be even more impatient with a constitutional process that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. “Head[ing] back to the negotiation table and try[ing] again” may end up being one of the few options that can avert a civil war and seek out that much-discussed “political solution” for the Sunnis, but is it even practical?

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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