Iraqi Talks Continue

IRAQI TALKS CONTINUE….The LA Times reports that Iraqi constitutional negotiations might go on for another couple of weeks:

“There is no D-Day,” said Ali Dabagh of the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition that dominates the assembly and the Iraqi government. “Negotiations can continue until Oct. 15.”

….Legal experts and Sunni Arab critics of the Shiite-led government have begun complaining that continuing delays violate Iraq’s placeholder charter. But Feisal Istrabadi, a former Chicago lawyer who helped write Iraq’s current, interim constitution, said Iraqi politicians are well within the spirit of the transitional law now in place to continue extending the deadline as long as necessary.

“I typed the deadlines with my own hands,” Istrabadi, now an Iraqi diplomat serving at the United Nations, said in a telephone interview. “There was no intent to put a stranglehold in terms of negotiating and improving the text up to Oct. 15. The National Assembly is well within its rights to continue to the process.” He added, “If the National Assembly needs more time, that’s fine.”

Technically, I think the legal experts are right and Istrabadi is wrong. Even in spirit he’s probably wrong. But really, who cares? Iraq hardly seems like a place to get too mired in the letter of the law right now, and if they need a couple of weeks, they should take a couple of weeks. It’s hard to see how that’s any worse than abandoning the talks or risking having the constitution voted down.