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Iraqis Work On Constitution

Three of the latest victims of terrorist attacks in Iraq were two members of Iraq's constitutional commission and their bodyguard. The murder of these Sunni members of the commission was apparently intended to prevent Iraqi Sunnis from taking part in the constitution-drafting process and to ignite sectarian violence. But the United States is confident that the vast majority of Iraqis want to pursue a free and democratic future for their country and that this latest cowardly attack will not distract them from that goal.

Thamir al-Gadhban, a former Iraqi government minister, reflected this sentiment. He says that despite the terrorists' efforts, most Iraqis are committed to progress:

"I think Iraq has passed through much more difficult times and we have faced greater challenges. I'm sure the [political] process will continue and we will be definitely having a new permanent constitution very soon."

Sheikh Homam Hamoodi, an Iraqi legislator who leads the commission charged with drafting the constitution, says that security is being increased for committee members and a draft document will be delivered to the Iraqi National Assembly by August 1st.

When Iraqi President Jalal Talabani welcomed the new U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, he said, “We have discussed with him [Ambassador Khalilzad]. . . .that the drafting of the constitution is an urgent and sacred duty for all Iraqis. It is important that everybody would participate, especially our Sunni brothers. Today we studied in the government, concerning their fair requests and the protection and the consensus building, and we have to continue to participate and contribute to this."

Iraq's draft constitution will be voted on by the Iraqi people in a referendum in October. They will return to the polls in December to vote for a permanent Iraqi government. "A democratic Iraq," says President George W. Bush, "will be a powerful setback to the terrorists. A democratic Iraq will be a great triumph in the history of liberty."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.