A CONSTITUTION FOR IRAQ
has a post that puts me into the somewhat embarrassing position of being in agreement with a Shiite Ayatollah
. On Natural Law grounds and Lockean tradition, Ayatollah Sistani is right, Bremer has no moral authority to just invent a constitution for Iraq ( even if arguably the outcome would be better in the long run than letting the Iraqis do it ) and if he does a lot of Iraqis will reject it for no other reason that their own lack of participation in the process.
That is not to say that a Constitutent Assembly should be left as a free-for-all for Islamist hardliners. There is no disagreement that the process should be supervised within parameters set by the Coalition authority that guarrantee a democratic and human-rights based outcome. Nor do elections have to be held tomorrow. A date however, should be set for elections, districts established to ensure a broad base of electoral, ethnic, religious and social participation in designing the constitution and guidelines that make it absolutely clear that any party trying to revive Iraq's legacy of politics by assassination, coups and violence will be met with extreme severity by occupation forces.
At root however, legitimacy derives only from the just consent of the governed. All else is folly.