Tuesday, May 15, 2007
executive decision with clinical precision:
Today's the deadline set by the Sunni Accordance Front to walk out of the political process, and it looks like the Accordance Front's Tariq Hashemi was bluffing. He didn't get the changes to the constitution he blustered towards. Instead, he got instead some nebulous "executive" position over security. The early report, from the AP:

Under the terms, Al Hashemi will have an 'executive role' in the fight against insurgents in Sunni areas inside and outside the capital, the lawmakers said.

Given that Maliki's office (1) purges anti-death squad national police and army commanders and (2) commands its own expanding Shiite intelligence apparatus, Hashemi most likely got hosed here. It's natural that he should be the one to back down on the constitution: his Iraqi Islamic Party was the only Sunni organization to support it back in late 2005 -- and then only so it could be revised later on. Now, so much for that.

Also, today is the deadline for the constitution committee to unveil proposed revisions. So far -- as expected -- nothing.

UPDATE: Reuters says the committee agreed to present the revisions to parliament next Tuesday, although federalism isn't going to be on the table. Hashemi says there'll be a relaxation of de-Baathification coming soon to parliament as well -- jointly drafted by him, Jalal Talabani, and Adel Abdul Mehdi. Those last two are hardcore advocates of de-Baathification, so God only knows what the three of them can agree on.
--Spencer Ackerman